Courtfield Gardens were built as part of the Gunter Estate in the mid-19th century. When plans were being drawn up to develop the area around Earl's Court Manor (next to Earl's Court station), the Gunter family gave some of the fields to be used for a new church - St Jude's. The church opened on Christmas Eve in 1870 and closed as a parish church in 2004. Now the building is home to St Mellitus Theological College. The surrounding sunken garden exists for the private use of local residents and features ornamental flowerbeds, a bank of azaleas and rhododendrons and self-seeded violets.