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Brown Hart Garden Westminster

Summary

Brown Hart Garden was originally designed in 1903 by C. Stanley Peach as an Italian Garden, and replaced an earlier communal garden of 1889 provided for residents of the surrounding model housing built for the working classes. It re-opened in 2007 as a public space after 20 years of closure and is in the initial stages of renovation. Situated on a terrace above Duke Street electricity substation, it has been described as the Mayfair Estates’ fullest flight of Edwardian Baroque.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Duke Street Garden

Site location:
Balderton Street/Duke Street

Postcode:
W1K 6WP ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Square

Date(s):
1903, 2007

Designer(s):

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Westminster

Site ownership:
Grosvenor Estate

Site management:
Grosvenor Estate Gardens Dept

Open to public?
Partially

Opening times:
Open weekdays 11am-3pm, and has opened for OGSW
Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend 3 times, most recently in 2010.

Special conditions:

Facilities:

Events:

Public transport:
Tube: Bond Street (Central, Jubilee). Bus: 6, 7, 10, 15, 23, 73, 94, 98, 113, 137, 139, 159, 189, 390

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2008
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.brownhartgardens.co.uk; www.grosvenor.com

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ283809

Size in hectares:

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:
Mayfair

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
Yes - Central Activities Zone

Other LA designation:
None

Brown Hart Garden

Photo: Colin Wing

Click photo to enlarge.

Album

Fuller information

This architectural garden was re-opened in 2007 as a public space after 20 years of closure and is in the initial stages of renovation. Situated on a terrace above Duke Street electricity substation, it has been described as the Mayfair Estates’ fullest flight of Edwardian Baroque. Designed in 1903 by C. Stanley Peach as an Italian Garden, it replaced an earlier communal garden associated with the surrounding model housing for the working classes. In the late 1880s Duke Street was extended to the west when Stalbridge, Balderton and Chesham Buildings were built and, as part of the development a coffee tavern and public garden were intended, specifically at the request of the landowner, the Duke of Westminster. The coffee house was never provided, but an area between Brown Street and Hart Street was cleared for a communal garden for the use of residents of the new flats. Originally called Duke Street Gardens, they were laid out in 1889 to the designs of Joseph Meston, with a number of trees, a central shelter, a urinal at the west end and a drinking fountain at the east end. They were closed in 1903 when the second Duke of Westminster leased the land to the Westminster Electricity Supply Co. to build a sub-station. Despite various complaints that the garden had attracted 'disorderly boys', 'verminous women' and 'tramps', the local residents protested at its loss and as a result it was agreed to recreate a new communal garden as part of the sub-station scheme. The new Duke Street Garden was duly laid out above a chamber for transformers and included trees in planters. It was opened on 16 June 1906 by the Mayor of Westminster, Lord Cheylesmore.

The sub-station that forms the base of the garden is a Portland stone structure with a domed pavilion, with steps leading up to the garden at both ends, which has a stone balustrade. A series of Diocletian windows are along the two sides of the building to allow light into the galleries of the engine rooms below.

The garden remains in the ownership of the Grosvenor Estate, and is still governed by a series of byelaws that date back to the original garden. Among these are the stipulations that ‘no idle or disorderly person is allowed in the garden’; ‘No bath chair or perambulator or vehicle of any kind is admitted’; and ‘brawling, quarrelling, gambling, playing cards or dice, singing, and practicing gymnastics’ are all prohibited within the gardens.

Sources consulted:

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