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Ovington Square Kensington & Chelsea
   
Summary: This private communal garden was provided for residents of Ovington Square and some houses in Ovington Gardens, which were built from the late 1840s when the area was being developed for housing. In the early C18th the land was an open field known as Flounder's Field and belonged to the Dyer family of Essex where they owned an estate called Ovington, hence the street names here. The square has modern railings, curved wrought iron gates and a wide paved path leading across to the entrance opposite. There is a narrow paved path around the edge of the garden, mature plane trees, shrubs and grass.
Previous / Other name:
Site location: Ovington Square
Postcode: SW3 > Google Map
Type of site: Garden Square
Date(s): 1860s
Designer(s):
Listed structures: LBII: 1-33 (odd), 35, 37-43 (odd), 34, 36-42 (even) Ovington Square
Borough: Kensington & Chelsea
Site ownership: Paravicini Family
Site management: Ovington Square Garden sub-committee
Open to public? Occasionally
Opening times: Has opened for OGSW. Otherwise private, for keyholders only
Took part in Open Garden Squares Weekend in 2005.
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport: Tube: Knightsbridge (Piccadilly). Bus: 14, 74, 414, C1
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.

Fuller information:

In the early C18th the land was an open field known as Flounder's Field, belonging to the Dyer family of Essex where they owned an estate called Ovington. To the north was Brompton Lane, now Brompton Road; Brompton Grove was once in this location, where several well-known people had houses. In the C19th William Jerdan, editor of the Literary Gazette, lived here. By 1840 there was a market garden here producing vegetables for the City but by 1865 the land was developed for housing, the square named Ovington after the Dyer family estate.

Ovington Square has two terraces facing each other across the oblong garden, Nos 1-33 Ovington Square built in 1845-50, designed by W W Pocock. No 35 was built in 1880 as part of the Cadogan Estate. Responsibility for the garden passed to Trustees following a Settlement made by Sir J S Dyer in 1912, and lessees of houses with access to the gardens paid a garden rent for its upkeep. In 1928 the garden was described as an 'oblong area surrounded by a thick privet hedge. Laid out as an ornamental garden with well-kept lawns'. The Dyer Trust is now owned by the Paravicini family who married into the Dyers. The garden is protected under 1851 Garden Square Act and maintained under the Kensington Improvement Act, 1851, which allows for management and day-to-day maintenance by a garden committee of residents. The committee is empowered to levy a garden rate on owners and occupiers entitled to use the garden, the rate collected by RBKC. The garden featured in Powell and Pressburger's 1943 film 'The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp', taking advantage of an actual bomb site where Nos. 22/24/26 Ovington Square was, now a block.

Sources consulted:

Leaflet produced by Garden Sub-committee; Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed); Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928.
Grid ref: TQ274791
Size in hectares: 0.1369
   
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: Thurloe Estate and Smith's Charity
Tree Preservation Order: Yes - Area of trees
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation:
   

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