(Photo: Gavin Gardiner)
These gardens are part of the Norland Estate, developed from around 1840 by Robert Cantwell, who laid out Royal Crescent in 1846. The Ordnance Survey map of 1860 shows a path following the periphery and trees and paths within the space. The gardens contain two magnificent plane trees at least as old as the Crescent buildings. They serve some 150 households in 44 houses.
The perimeter railings, sacrificed for the war effort in WW2, were restored in 1997 and repainted in 2014. The garden committee has worked since 2003 with a garden designer on full restoration, to enhance the planting and improve the visual amenity the gardens offer to all residents.
Considerable progress has been made, including the installation of a gazebo specially made for the garden as a new central feature in 2007, replanting of the west side in 2008-9 and the south path in 2011. Significant improvements to the planting and layout continued in 2014 and the project continues.
In 2007 the garden won the Kensington Society award for garden design and in 2008 first prize for communal gardens in North Kensington under the Brighter Kensington and Chelsea Scheme. It came second in the communal gardens class from 2009 to 2013 and third in 2014. Awards were also given by the London Gardens Society in 2013 and 2014.