Queens Garden

Italian Garden panorama

Former view of Italian Garden

Location.

Accessible from Kentish Way, Queens Road, and through adjacent The Glades (Intu Bromley) shopping centre.

History.

Queen’s Garden represents the last remnant of the countryside hugging the old Market Square on the east side of town. It was part of the farmland belonging to Bromley Palace (now the Civic Centre) stretching from the White Hart Inn in the High Street all the way to Widmore Green. By the l8th century it was known as White Hart Field and it was here that the coaching horses could graze and where the town held their cricket matches. Despite its accustomed use by the townsfolk the field remained in the possession of the Lord of the Manor until donated to the town in 1897 on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee and on condition it was laid out as a public garden.

The Grade 2 listed ornamental gates, which now stand just inside the Kentish Way entrance to the garden, originally stood at the at the end of White Hart Slip entrance from Market Square. This area is now part of the Shopping Centre. The Glades development was highly controversial not least because it finally severed the thousand year old link of the Market Square with open land. The gates are an important feature of the Garden and were donated by Lord Kinnaird and came from Plaistow Lodge although their actual origins and age are unknown.

Early photographs of Queen’s Garden show it as sparsely landscaped. The beauty of the Garden as we know them today with many fine mature trees including several cedars is thanks to the vision of those early council landscape gardeners. The trees forming the boundary with Kentish Way, however were part of the original Palace field boundary along what used to be ‘Love Lane’. This formed part of the original avenue of Limes lining the carriage drive to Bromley Palace. These were all cut down in 1987 when Kentish Way was constructed.

Places of interest.

This is an enclosed formal gardens immediately adjacent to The Glades (aka inTu) shopping centre and therefore a favourite for people to take a short break from shopping and relax. A number of features can be found here.

The area formerly The Maze  has been handed back to the council after the restaurant development. Bromley council are currently (August 2016) consulting on appropriate designs to be built here.

Ornamental flower beds. These colourful flower beds are maintained by the council’s contractor and are changed twice a year.

Development threat.  For nearly three years we unsuccessfully campaigned against the sell off of part of this park for commercial development. For more information about our campaign please go to our Queens Garden campaign page.

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