Essential Architecture-  London

Kensington Gardens See also Kensington Palace


Henry Wise and Charles Bridgeman


to the west of Hyde Park








Outdoor space/ Park
  Kensington Palace in the snow
  The Albert Monument
Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, is one of the Royal Parks of London, lying immediately to the west of Hyde Park. Most of it is in the City of Westminster, but a small section to the west is in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It covers 275 acres (1.1 km²).

The park is famous to generations of British schoolchildren as the setting of J.M. Barrie's book Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, a prelude to the character's famous adventures in Neverland. The fairies of the gardens are first described in Thomas Tickell's 1722 poem Kensington Gardens. Both the book and the character are honored with the iconic Peter Pan statue located in the park.

Kensington Gardens were laid out by Henry Wise and Charles Bridgeman with fashionable features including the Round Pond, formal avenues and a sunken Dutch garden. Long after they had been opened to the public, the King asked his Prime Minister the possible cost of enclosing them again: the reply was "a Crown".

At the time, the surrounding land was predominantly rural and remained largely undeveloped until the Great Exhibition in 1851. Many of the original features survive along with the Palace, and now there are other public buildings such as the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Gallery, and Speke's monument.

The Gardens are generally regarded as being part of the neighbouring Hyde Park from which they were originally taken, but West Carriage Drive (The Ring) forms a theoretical boundary between the two. Kensington Gardens is fenced, more formal, and was long regarded as the smarter of the two. Together with Green Park and St. James's Park, these parks form an almost continuous "green lung" in the heart of London between Kensington and Westminster.


Kensington Gardens, official website
Kensington gardens landscape architecture
Article on Kensington Gardens
The Garden a poem by Ezra Pound set in Kensington Gardens