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Roper's Gardens Kensington & Chelsea

Summary

Roper's Gardens were created as a public amenity on a bomb site following destruction of the buildings in 1941. The name recalls the fact that the land was part of the gift of Sir Thomas More to his daughter Margaret on her marriage to William Roper. The gardens were laid out in 1964 with a long raised terrace of sheltered seating overlooking areas of lawn, with shrubbery, flower beds and trees. Among the sculptural works is an unfinished relief by Jacob Epstein, who had a studio near here from 1909-14.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Roper's Orchard

Site location:
Chelsea Embankment/Old Church Street/Ropers Gardens

Postcode:
SW3 5AX ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Gardens

Date(s):
1964

Designer(s):

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Kensington & Chelsea

Site ownership:
RB Kensington & Chelsea

Site management:
Leisure Services, Parks and Open Spaces

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
unrestricted

Special conditions:

Facilities:
none

Events:

Public transport:
Tube: Sloane Square (District, Circle) then bus.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/05/2013
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.rbkc.gov.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ270775

Size in hectares:
0.151

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:
No

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:
Thames

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
Yes - Archaeological Priority Area (Thames)

Other LA designation:
Area of Metropolitan Importance. Thames Policy Area

Fuller information

The site of the public gardens was part of the marriage gift of Sir Thomas More to his daughter Margaret on her marriage to William Roper in 1521 and was once an orchard. The buildings here were destroyed by a parachute mine on 17 April 1941 and the small sunken garden was created on the bomb damaged area, the foundation stone laid by Cllr Lady Heath, Mayor of the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea on 11 March 1964. The design was by Bridgwater Shepherd and Epstein. There are a number of sculptural works in the garden, including The Awakening by Gilbert Ledward (1888-1960) surrounded by flowerbed and an unfinished stone relief by Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959), , which stands on the site of his studios, where he worked from 1909-1914. The fragment was set by Stephen Gardiner and was unveiled by Sir Caspar John in the 1970s. Roper's Garden has a long terrace of sheltered seating and in the lower area are two slightly raised lawns, with shrub areas and paving at each end, that to the west currently bare. Trees planted when the garden was laid out include one that commemorates Gunji Koizumi, father of British Judo (1885-1965) as well as another planted by 'The Men of the Trees' London Branch.

Sources consulted:

Thames Conservation Area Proposals Statement; RB Kensington Park Archive

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