The Crescent was built in the early 1840s; a map of Surbiton Estate in 1847 shows the gardens fronting The Crescent informally laid out with a simple path meandering through them; trees were later planted and by 1910 the gardens were railed and the clock tower had been built to the south. The railings were later removed as part of the WWII war effort. A large circular paddling pool was constructed by the early 1930s. The gardens were re-landscaped in the 1990s when a new water feature and pergola were constructed, an earlier rock feature recreated, new paths and planting.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2012
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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.
The stuccoed villas of The Crescent and the gardens fronting them date from c.1840 and were part of the 'new-town' development laid out between 1838 and 1842 by Thomas Pooley, a maltster, who was responsible for much early development when Surbiton was becoming a popular and select middle-class area. However, Pooley ran out of money in 1842 and sold out to Coutts & Co. Bank, which continued the scheme using Philip Hardwick as architect and Cubitts as builders. Apart from The Crescent, a number of Pooley's other buildings survive in Maple Road and Victoria Road. A map of Surbiton Estate in 1847 shows the gardens fronting The Crescent having an informal layout with a simple path meandering through them. By 1898 the OS map shows the layout with tree planting around the perimeter and some specimen planting in the centre. A photograph of 1910 shows Claremont Gardens as railed but these were removed as part of the WWII effort and never replaced. Between 1913 - 1932 a large circular paddling pool was constructed in the centre of the gardens with a rustic shelter, and public toilets were built opposite the Gothic clock tower. This had been built in 1908 south of the gardens, which has a bronze oval medallion with a bust of Edward VII, whose coronation in 1902 the clock tower had originally been planned to celebrate.
Later changes to the gardens included a rose pergola, a large rock feature, additional paths and further planting around these features. In the 1990s the gardens were re-landscaped by the Borough's Parks Department in order to open them up, as by then they had become dilapidated, somewhat overgrown and perceived as unsafe. The rustic shelter and paddling pool were also removed, with a new water feature and pergola constructed, the rock feature recreated, new paths and planting. The gardens have mature trees including an Atlantic cedar in the centre.
RB Kingston notes for EH listing submission; Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999; M Bellus, 'Kingston Then and Now', London, 1977; Sue Swales, Ian Yarham, Bob Britton, 'Nature Conservation in Kingston upon Thames', Ecology Handbook 18 (London Ecology Unit) 1992; Tim Everson, 'Kingston, Surbiton and Malden', Budding Books, 2000.