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Paddington Green Westminster

Summary

This is a remnant of the original village green with origins in the ancient villages of Paddington and Lillestone. Paddington Green is an unusually early public open space; in 1753 it was enclosed by the owner of Paddington House to serve as an ornament to the parish, and in 1779 was vested in 3 trustees for the benefit of the parish. Improvements were made in the early C19th but by 1851 it had declined and was closed for public recreation. It re-opened to the public in 1865, following a legacy for its maintenance by Marion Mayne. A statue of the actress Sarah Siddons was erected here in 1897.

Basic Details

Site location:
Harrow Road, Paddington

Postcode:
W2 1LG ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Gardens

Date(s):
1753; 1865

Designer(s):
Samuel Nicholl? / Denis Chirac?

Listed structures:
LBII: pair of K6 telephone kiosks

Borough:
Westminster

Site ownership:
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: Edgware Road (Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & Fulham), Warwick Avenue (Bakerloo). Bus: 18

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/11/2007
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.westminster.gov.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ266818

Size in hectares:
0.506

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:
Yes

Conservation Area name:
Paddington Green

Tree Preservation Order:

Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Borough Importance II

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
Yes - Area of Special Archaeological Priority

Other LA designation:
None

Fuller information

This is the original village green that has its origins in the ancient villages of Paddington and Lillestone, and it is an unusually early public open space. It is the setting of St Mary's Church Paddington Green (q.v.), the current church built in 1788/91 replacing the older parish church. From the C17th onwards the commonland began to be encroached as houses were built, including that of Charles Greville (1749-1809), one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society. Emma Hart, later Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson's mistress, grew up in his house, which was where she met Sir William Hamilton, her future husband and Greville's uncle. Her mother Mary Cadogan was buried here, but Emma was buried in France, despite having expressed the wish to be buried at St Mary's. In 1753 Paddington Green was enclosed by Denis Chirac, owner of Paddington House, to serve as an ornament to the parish, and in 1779 it was vested in three trustees for the benefit of the parish. In the mid C18th, the Green was regarded as a picturesque beauty spot much favoured by artists. To the north of the Green was the burial ground for St Mary's Church, which later opened as a public garden following closure for burials as a result of the first Burial Act of 1852 and its subsequent amendments during the 1850s. The Metropolitan Open Spaces Acts of 1877 and 1881 and the Disused Burial Grounds Act of 1884, later extended under the Metropolitan Open Spaces Act of 1887, enabled 'open spaces and burial grounds in the Metropolis for the use of the inhabitants thereof for exercise and recreation'.

Improvements were made to the Green in 1807 and were financed by private subscription, with maintenance undertaken through a levy on highway rates with the lease ceded to the local vestry in 1808. However, in 1849 old trees were felled and the quality of the gardens declined; disorderly crowds were reported in 1851 and the Vestry agreed to enclose it for recreation. In her will of 1864 Marion Mayne left £35 a year to maintain the garden and it was opened to the public in 1865, a 1.5 acre site east of the churchyard. It was later owned and maintained by Paddington Borough Council. A white marble statue of the actress Sarah Siddons (1755-1831), by L J Chevaliand was unveiled by Sir Henry Irving in 1897; she had lived in Westbourne Green for a time and is buried in St Mary's Churchyard. A concrete block in the centre of the Green is the remains of a Civil Defence Report and Control Centre opened in 1953. The Westway Flyover was built by the early 1970s and intrudes on the southern area. At the edge of Paddington Green, opposite Nos. 8-10, are a pair of K6 telephone kiosks.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (1991, reprinted 1999), pp.694 & 675; Victoria County History, Middlesex, vol. IX, 1989; Thomas Smith, History of Paddington; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928

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