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Bessborough Gardens Westminster

Summary

Bessborough Gardens was once open fields in the vicinity of the Millbank Penitentiary. It was laid out as a garden for the surrounding terraces between 1841-43, a wedge-shaped enclosure with Holy Trinity Church to the south, now demolished. In 1982 the terraces were demolished for road improvements, replaced by new buildings in C19th style. New gardens were laid out within an irregular rectangle surrounded with modern railings, and contain several mature trees, a lawn crossed by stone and brick paths, seating areas and shrubberies. In the centre is the Queen Mother's Commemorative Fountain (1982), which incorporates a cast of one of George Vulliamy's dolphin lamp standard bases from the Embankment.

Basic Details

Site location:
Bessborough Gardens, Vauxhall Bridge Road, Pimlico

Postcode:
SW1V 2JE ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Garden Square; Public Gardens

Date(s):
1841-43, remodelled 1982

Designer(s):
Original layout possibly by Thomas Cubitt

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Westminster

Site ownership:
Crown Estate Paving Commission, leased to WCC

Site management:
WCC Parks Service (contractor: Continental Landscapes Ltd)

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
8am - dusk

Special conditions:

Facilities:

Events:

Public transport:
Tube: Pimlico (Victoria), Victoria (Victoria, District, Circle)

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/07/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.westminster.gov.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ298783

Size in hectares:
0.412

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:
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:
No

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
No

Other LA designation:
London Square

Fuller information

The square, formerly open fields in the vicinity of the Millbank Penitentiary, was laid out as a garden for the surrounding terraces of stucco houses between 1841-43. The garden was wedge-shaped and was bounded on its south side by Holy Trinity Church, by J L Pearson, which was subsequently demolished. In 1982 the terraces of Bessborough Gardens were destroyed for road improvements and the present gardens, now rectangular, were lined with buildings rebuilt in 1982-3 in C19th style. The new gardens were laid out asymmetrically within an irregular rectangle surrounded with modern railings. They contain several mature trees, a lawn crossed by stone and brick paths, seating areas and shrubberies. In the centre is the Queen Mother's Commemorative Fountain, the work of Sir Peter Shepheard (1982). It is made of aluminium and incorporates a cast of one of George Vulliamy's dolphin lamp standard bases from the Embankment.

Sources consulted:

Harold Clunn, the Face of London (c1950), p.251; Pevsner, p.635; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993), p.60

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