|Cremorne Gardens||Kensington & Chelsea|
The riverside Cremorne Gardens were re-landscaped in 1981/2, but commemorate the Cremorne Pleasure Gardens that were on the site from 1845-77. Located in the gardens are the restored Cremorne Gates that once stood at the King's Road end of the original gardens and belonged to Lord Cremorne's house. The gates serve to divide the park into two areas: a cobbled area with raised beds, planters, War Memorial and steps leading to the river promenade; and an area of lawn on undulating ground with shrubs and seating.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/05/2013
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The famous Cremorne Pleasure Gardens opened in 1845 and closed down in 1877. They were named after Viscount Cremorne who had bought Chelsea Farm in 1778, enlarged the house and renamed it Cremorne House. In 1831 the house was purchased by Charles Random De Berenger, Baron De Beaufain who turned it first into a sports club and then opened the pleasure gardens. Entertainment included concerts, fireworks, balloon ascents and galas. In 1874 Monsieur de Groof, known as The Flying Man, attempted a stunt from the Pleasure Gardens whereby he was suspended below a balloon in a birdlike flying machine with wings that he could flap mechanically. Unfortunately the balloon failed to rise sufficiently and, in order to avoid a collision with the tower of St Luke’s Church (q.v.), the Flying Man was cut free in the hopes that he would drift into the churchyard, but sadly he landed in Sydney Street and died.
After closure of the Pleasure Gardens in 1877, the site was sold for building and soon built over. The wrought-iron gateway, which had stood at the King's Road end of the original gardens and belonged to Lord Cremorne's house, was incorporated when the riverside park was newly landscaped in 1981/2. By 2007 new buildings had been erected by the adjacent Canoe Club.
The park is separated into two main parts, on entry there is an area that is cobbled, with raised beds and planters and a water feature. A War Memorial stone commemorates employees of Chelsea Borough Council lost in the two World Wars. Steps lead to the river promenade, with a pier, a series of circular planters and hanging baskets. There are a number of ornamental trees including palms and false acacia, and small shelters to the side. The restored Cremorne Gates are free-standing and divide the cobbled area with a more informal area of lawn on undulating ground with shrub border and some seating, including a willow seat. A contemporary artwork has been installed in this part of the garden, commissioned by RBKC, part of the Secret Garden Project curated by ‘up projects’. Created by artists London Fieldworks and titled ‘Spontaneous City’ it was designed for the Tree of Heaven in the garden and consists of over 250 bespoke bird and bug boxes, providing shelter, nesting and feeding for local wildlife. Cremorne Gardens have been awarded the Green Flag Award.
Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, The London Encyclopaedia, 1994 ed; Thames Conservation Area Proposals Statement