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Earl's Court Square Kensington & Chelsea

Summary

Earl's Court Square was developed as part of the Edwardes Estate. Building of the square began from 1868/72, the south side the last to be completed. The name derives from the courthouse of the Earls of Warwick and Holland, formerly Lords of the Manor. The communal garden for the use of lessees of the surrounding houses was a simple rectangle with grass, paths leading to a central circular feature and around the perimeter; at one time there were tennis courts. In later years poor maintenance by the owners led to the formation of a Residents Association, who sought to rectify this. A Garden Committee was established in 1974 and improvements have included new steel railings, an irrigation system and flood-lighting, new garden shed, circular seating around the central plane tree and children's play equipment.

Basic Details

Site location:
Earl's Court Square

Postcode:
SW5 9DG ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Garden Square

Date(s):
1868-90

Designer(s):

Listed structures:
LBII: Nos 30-52 Earls Court Square

Borough:
Kensington & Chelsea

Site ownership:
private

Site management:
Garden Committee, employing a gardener

Open to public?
Occasionally

Opening times:
Has opened for OGSW. Otherwise private, for keyholders only
Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend 21 times, most recently in 2018.

Special conditions:

Facilities:

Events:

Public transport:
Tube: Earls Court (District, Piccadilly). Bus: C1, 31, 74, 328.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/10/2007
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ256783

Size in hectares:
0.2653

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
Yes

Local Authority Data

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:
No

In Conservation Area:
Yes

Conservation Area name:
Earl's Court Square

Tree Preservation Order:
Yes - Group TPO

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
No

Other LA designation:
None

Earl's Court Square

DSC 0248 - Photo: Sarah Jackson

Click photo to enlarge.

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Fuller information

This was developed as part of the Edwardes Estate and building began from 1868/72, the south side the last to be completed. The name is from the courthouse of the Earls of Warwick and Holland who were formerly Lords of the Manor in the C18th. The late C19th stuccoed terraces have Italianate features; the south terrace was built in red brick with Jacobean motifs from 1888. The OS map of 1894 shows the square as a simple rectangle with paths leading to a central circular feature, and paths around the edge. Protected under 1851 Garden Square Act. Owned by Lord Iveagh, in 1928 the square was described as a 'rectangular area surrounded by a sparse privet hedge. Attractively laid out as a lawn with a small flower bed in the middle, and contains some fine trees'. Lessees of houses in the square had the benefit of the garden, in some cases paying garden rents under their lease. It was maintained by a Committee of those entitled to use the gardens with rules and regulations approved by Lord Iveagh, the ground landlord, who made a yearly allowance to cover expense in excess of the garden rents received. The gardens had tennis courts at that time, the tennis club under the control of the garden committee and contributing additional expenses for this use.

However, in later years the garden was not well maintained by its owners and the Residents Association was formed to rectify this. They had the garden adopted under the Kensington Improvement Act of 1851 whereby it is run by a Garden Committee established in 1974 comprised of ratepayers of the houses that overlook it with a special rate levied for the purpose. Since that time improvements have included new steel railings, an irrigation system and flood-lighting, new garden shed, circular seating around the central plane tree and children's play equipment. In 1984 a tree-planting ceremony commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Garden Committee.

Sources consulted:

Survey of London; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928; RBKC Earl's Court Square Conservation Area Proposals Statement; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928

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