(Photo: Gavin Gardiner)
This beautiful, award-winning Victorian garden, named after William Hare, Viscount Ennismore and Earl of Listowel, formed part of the gardens and paddocks of Kingston House, which stretched the length of Prince's Gate. In the mid 19th century the house was built in the centre of the 21 acre estate for Elizabeth Chudleigh (bigamist Duchess of Kingston, she was still married to the Earl of Bristol), from which she could enjoy uninterrupted views towards Surrey. Following her death. the development of the estate began in the 1840s.
The garden, named after William Hare, Viscount Ennismore and Earl of Listowel, has been extensively developed and restored over the past 20 years. Covering half an acre, the garden was laid out and enclosed with cast-iron railings by Peter and Alexander Thorne in the late 1870s, after they had built the large houses of the northern, southern, and western Portland stone ranges which, added to the lesser brick and stucco houses of 1846-54 built by John Elger completed the Garden Square. The core of the garden, from the beginning, has been fine London Plane trees. The present layout of grass, beds and borders, with a few minor changes, has survived for 50 or more years. It has been extensively developed and restored over the past 20 years.
An urn (a reduced size replica of one designed by William Kent for Alexander Pope's garden in Twickenham) was erected in memory of Ava Gardner who lived in the first floor flat at No. 34 for many years. The most recent (2014) addition is a boulder garden of Cornish field stones laid out below young silver birches.
In 2012 Ennismore Gardens won a London Gardens Society Highly Commended certificate in the large private squares category.
Don't miss Rutland Gate South Garden, just around the corner.