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Bina Gardens West Kensington & Chelsea
   
Summary: Private communal gardens provided for residents of the houses that surround it, which were built as part of the Gunter Estate development that took place from 1840s onwards. The northern area of the estate was developed from 1865 encouraged by the arrival of the railway. Bina Gardens West was built in 1883 and the garden was formally laid out with lawns, flowerbeds and trees. Lessees of housing abutting the gardens and those in nearby streets had access on payment of rent for its upkeep.
Previous / Other name:
Site location: Bina Gardens
Postcode: SW5 > Google Map
Type of site: Garden Square
Date(s): 1883
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
Borough: Kensington & Chelsea
Site ownership: private
Site management: Bina Gardens West Committee
Open to public? Occasionally
Opening times: Has opened for OGSW. Otherwise private, for keyholders only.
Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend 6 times, most recently in 2007.
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport: Tube: Gloucester Road (District, Circle, Piccadilly). Bus: C1, 49, 74.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2015
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.binagardenswest.org

Fuller information:

The site was originally laid out as part of the Gunter Estate in the 1880s. It was part of the former Court Fields once within the Earl's Court Manor estate, later owned by the Gunter family.The Gunters had made their money selling confectionery and had begun to acquire land in the area from the latter part of the C18th; James Gunter had become a partner of successful Italian pastrycook Domenico Negri, whose business at 7 Berkeley Square was established in 1757 and soon became prosperous. James began investing his money in land in the then rural area around Brompton Lane (now Old Brompton Road), including a house to the north, Earls Court House, where the family lived. When his son Robert inherited the business on his death in 1819 the land holding was considerable. But although some plots had been let for building by the mid 1840s, 73 of the estate's c.81 acres remained undeveloped and leased to farmers and market gardeners. From the late 1840s Robert Gunter began to develop the estate lands, beginning with The Boltons and moving north and east with large houses and terraces. His sons James and Robert continued to develop the estate following his death in 1852. George Godwin was appointed estate surveyor in 1848. By then, Godwin, who was local to Kensington, already had useful experience as District Surveyor for South Islington, and had erected one or two houses on Fulham Road with his father, also an architect or builder. As estate surveyor Godwin was responsible for the overall street layout and amenities, and overseeing the work undertaken by the contractors and developers who leased the building plots. In 1859 Robert Gunter leased the west side of The Boltons to John Spicer (d.1883) of Pimlico, who went on to take on many other leases on the estate in the 1860s and 1870s to become one of its principal developers.

Bina Gardens was built in 1883. In 1928 the garden enclosure was owned by R G Gunter and leased on a peppercorn rent to Mr G J Spicer, the lease expiring in 1983. Spicer, solicitor and son of John Spicer, had similar leases from the Gunter family for the garden enclosures of Bolton Gardens, Bramham Gardens, Collingham Gardens, Gledhow Gardens and Wetherby Gardens (q.q.v.). The gardens were for the use of lessees of Nos. 1-12 (inclusive) and 14-30 (even) Bina Gardens, 18-27 (inclusive) Gledhow Gardens and Nos. 23, 24 and 25 Wetherby Gardens, who paid a rent for upkeep. In that year it was described as 'A rectangular area flanked on two adjoining sides by roads and on the other two sides by the rear or sides of buildings. Surrounded by privet hedge. Attractively laid out with well-kept lawns and flower beds and some fine trees'. The garden had become something of a mud patch by the early 1990s, but since then it has been transformed by residents into a half acre of newly railed informal garden with shrubs, plane and lime trees. Protected under 1851 Garden Square Act.

Sources consulted:

OGSD booklet; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928; byelaws and other information on www.binagardenswest.org
Grid ref: TQ261785
Size in hectares: 0.1821
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
Yes
 
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List:
In Conservation Area: Yes
Conservation Area name: Courtfield
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation:
   

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