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Royal Avenue * Kensington & Chelsea

Summary

* on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens

The Avenue was part of the project to connect the Royal Hospital with William III's Kensington Palace in a scheme by Sir Christopher Wren approved in 1681, but which stopped short at King's Road. The Avenue was made partly through commonland, the rights to which were acquired in 1694 by the Commissioners of the Royal Hospital, the extreme southern end originally part of Burton's Court. It now consists of a broad expanse of gravel with a gully each side, set between two rows of lime trees, a low post around the edge; it has fine views to Royal Hospital across Burton's Court.

Basic Details

Site location:
Royal Avenue, off King's Road

Postcode:
SW3 ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Garden Feature Remnants

Date(s):
1692-4

Designer(s):

Listed structures:
LBII: 2-48 and 17-43 Royal Avenue

Borough:
Kensington & Chelsea

Site ownership:
RB Kensington & Chelsea leased from Commissioners of the Royal Hospital

Site management:
Leisure Services, Parks and Open Spaces

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
unrestricted

Special conditions:

Facilities:

Events:

Public transport:
Tube: Sloane Square (District, Circle). Bus: 11, 19, 22, 211, 239

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/05/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.rbkc.gov.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ277783

Size in hectares:
0.3503

Green Flag:
Yes

On EH National Register :
Yes

EH grade:
Grade II

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:
Royal Hospital

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
No

Other LA designation:
Rail Safeguarding Area (north tip)

Royal Avenue *

Royal Avenue - Photo: Colin Wing

Click photo to enlarge.

Album

Fuller information

Royal Hospital Chelsea: Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

This was part of a bold project intended to connect the Royal Hospital with William III's Kensington Palace in a scheme by Sir Christopher Wren approved in 1681. Unfortunately the project stopped short at King's Road, and the flanking terraces are not uniform. The Avenue was made partly through commonland, the rights to which were acquired in 1694 by the Commissioners of the Royal Hospital paying rent of £3 p.a. The extreme southern end was originally part of Burton's Court. The Avenue originally had gravel with grass verges, horse chestnut trees and hedging with wooden fencing bordering each side. Walls and gates enclosed each end with ladder stiles, painted white in 1748 and the Avenue previously called Chestnut Walk became known as White Stiles. The eastern terrace was built in the 1840s at which time the horse chestnuts were probably replaced by lime and plane trees, the grass verges gravelled and the gates and fences replaced by railings. It was known as Royal Avenue from 1875.

In 1970 the road access to King's Road was closed. The Avenue now consists of a broad expanse of gravel with a gully each side, set between two rows of lime trees, a low post around the edge and it has fine views to Royal Hospital across Burton's Court. Described in 1928 as 'a gravelled roadway with some fine trees. Flanked on each side by a public road with dwelling-houses fronting on to it', it was at that time not publically accessible except on one day each year.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed); Royal Hospital Conservation Area Proposals Statement; Report of Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928

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