|Egerton Gardens||Kensington & Chelsea|
These private communal gardens were provided for residents of the adjacent houses of Egerton Gardens, which were built in 1886-8 as part of the Smith's Charity Estate development. The Trustees of the Estate began building on the estate land from 1823, appointing George Basevi as architect in 1828. The garden forms a narrow strip between two brick terraces and has cast-iron railings at either end.
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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.
This was part of the Smith's Charity Estate, which was a substantial land holding from the time of the bequest of the City merchant Henry Smith, d.1628. The Trustees bought the estate c.1630 but the first recorded lease was not until 1664. A wedge of land within the Charity's Estate was owned by descendants of Sir William Blake (d.1630) and became the Thurloe Estate when Blake's descendent Anna Maria Browne conveyed it to John Thurloe Brace, her second husband, on their marriage in 1713. Two other parcels of land at the west of the Smith's Charity Estate by Sallad Lane separated a section of the estate lands, part of Brompton Heath and later the site of Evelyn Gardens, from the main estate land. The Trustees of Henry Smith were granted building leases by an Act of Parliament in 1772. Following the Napoleonic Wars the rapid development of areas of London began in earnest, including in this area of Kensington, which the Trustees of Henry Smith's Charity began to develop in 1823, appointing George Basevi as architect in 1828.
The garden forms a narrow strip between two five storey red brick terraces that rather overwhelms it. At either end are elegant, curved cast iron railings. In 1928 it was described as 'a well-kept ornamental garden forming a common back garden to the houses adjoining it' for the use of lessees of adjoining houses who paid a proportion of expenses for maintenance, which was undertaken by a Garden Committee. The leases expired in 1978. Mortimer House is in its own large garden, built 1886/8 and No. 31 was built for Thomas Henry Smith in 1888.
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed); RBKC Thurloe Estate & Smith's Charity Conservation Area Policy Statement; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928