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Ashworth Mansions Garden Westminster

Summary

Maida Vale is renowned for its mansion blocks, lining the broad avenues and bringing a European flavour to the area. Among the first, Ashworth Mansions was built in 1899-1900, two red-brick blocks in Queen Anne Revival style overlooking the communal garden provided for the residents. Planting consists of mature trees, shrubs and perennials, herbaceous borders and beds, set in lawns. The road frontages on Elgin Avenue and Grantully Road also have landscaped areas.

Basic Details

Site location:
Ashworth Road/Biddulph Road, Maida Vale

Postcode:
W9 1JL ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Private Garden

Date(s):
1899-1900

Designer(s):

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Westminster

Site ownership:
Ashworth Mansions Ltd (AML)

Site management:
Informal garden committee / contractor employed by Ashworth Mansions Ltd (AML)

Open to public?
No

Opening times:
private, residents onlyHas taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend in the past.

Special conditions:

Facilities:

Events:
Has opened for OGSW

Public transport:
Tube: Maida Vale. Bus: 98

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/10/2017
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. https://ashworthmansions.wordpress.com/

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ258827 (525820,182732)

Size in hectares:
c.0.21

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:
No

Tree Preservation Order:
Not known

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
No

Other LA designation:
None

Ashworth Mansions Garden

Ashworth Mansions Garden, June 2017. Photograph Sally Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

Fuller information

The land in the area to the north of Regent's Canal was owned by the Church Commissioners and remained undeveloped until the 1890s. By that time building mansion flats was deemed more profitable than houses, and these new residential buildings were aimed at attracting the middle classes, suggested by the name 'mansion' itself, and the architectural design reinforced this aspiration. Ashworth Mansions was the first block built on Elgin Avenue and had a carriage drive, copper cupolas and stained glass. The builder was Edward Jarvis Cave who built most of the mansion blocks in Maida Vale and many in West Hampstead, before he went bankrupt in 1900, taking with him two of his sons and DH Evans of department store fame.

The architects of Maida Vale's three mansion blocks, Ashworth, Biddulph and Elgin, were Edward Boehmer and Percy Gibbs, who had met while working at Archer and Green, the architects of many of London's prestigious blocks of flats in Knightsbridge and other smart addresses such as Lissenden Gardens Estate (q.v.) in Gospel Oak. Ashworth Mansions itself was built in two stages with Boehmer supervising from his own flat at 10 Lauderdale Mansions. The Elgin Avenue block was constructed first and occupied in 1899 and the Grantully block followed in 1900. Almost all of the 105 flats were occupied by 1902 and the early residents were generally professional people. A contemporary advertisement boasted of 'landscaped gardens, hot and cold water, electricity, electric bells and tradesman's lifts'. However it is probable that the gardens were more of a yard than a garden in the early days, although there was a tennis court.

In 1944 a V1 bomb landed in the garden and destroyed much of the rear of the block on Elgin Avenue, killing 6 people. Prior to the 1960s most of the residents were tenants. In 1983 the leases were sold and the freehold was then acquired by the leaseholders in 1991. The mansion blocks had suffered neglect over the years but have seen much improvement following a multi-million pound programme of major works in 2001-07 and 2009-14.

The garden's lawns today are shaded by a number of well-grown trees, which include copper beech, silver maple, hornbeam, and silver birch. A knot garden, wild flower garden and herb garden have been planted, and a hedged pergola provides a secluded seating area. The frontage on Elgin Avenue has pollarded plane trees and a garden area with lawn, shrubs and flower beds, a paved area providing entrance to the flats. The Grantully Road frontage is also planted with shrubs. The garden's maintenance is overseen by an informal garden committee, and carried out by a professional garden contractor.

Sources consulted:

Information Sheet provided for OGSW 2016; History section on Ashworth Mansions website.

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