|Harrington Gardens||Kensington & Chelsea|
Private communal gardens provided for residents of the houses that surround it, which were built as part of the Gunter Estate development in the area that took place from 1840s. The development of the northern part of their estate came a little later, encouraged by construction of the Metropolitan and District Railways here. Harrington Gardens was built between 1880-88; the communal gardens were laid out with trees, shrubs and lawns and were for the use of lessees as well as those in nearby houses, on payment of a garden rent.
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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.
Harrington Gardens is on the former farmland and fields, known as the Court Fields and originally belonging to Earl's Court Manor, that was later owned by the Gunter family who began to develop their estate from the late 1840s. Work commenced with The Boltons (q.v.) and proceeded northwards, with development in the north part of the Gunter Estate taking place from the 1870s, accelerated by the construction of the Metropolitan and District Railways. The picturesque houses of Harrington Gardens, built between 1880-88 and designed by Ernest George and Harold Peto have been described as the best of the architecture in this area, along with Nos. 1-18a Collingham Gardens, also by George and Peto.
The houses are placed in a setting of two simple rectangular communal gardens, divided by Ashburn Place. These were laid out very formally with paths, trees and shrubs around the edge (see OS 1894-6). In 1928 the garden, then owned by Lady George Campbell, was described as an 'enclosure of irregular shape flanked on two sides (one very short) by roads and on the remaining sides by the rear or sides of dwelling-houses. Laid out as a lawn, with some well-grown trees around the border'. It was maintained by a Garden Committee composed of occupying lessees who were entitled to use the gardens on payment of a garden rent; in some cases residents in the near neighbourhood were also permitted to use the gardens, subject to an agreed payment. The original cast iron gate has a floral motif, the railings on either side are square in section (c. 1930). No. 39 Harrington Gardens is associated with W S Gilbert.
Survey of London; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928