21 February 2015

Hill Close Gardens, Warwick

A survivor from the early Victorian period, Hill Close Gardens is an inter-linked group of partitioned leisure gardens that run up the hillside from Bread and Meat Close, Warwick. Edward Wilson, a Warwickshire landowner, partitioned the land in 1845, and by 1866 there were 32 plots.

The plots were originally owned, or sometimes rented, by city families that lived in townhouses without gardens.They were separated from each other by hedges and walls to provide privacy. Many of the plots remained in the hands of the same families for a number of generations. A map of 1886 shows summerhouses built on five of the plots.

The gardens fell into disuse in the early twentieth century, and the local council progressively bought up the land with the intention of building houses. Grade II* listing of four of the summerhouses in 1994 helped a campaign to save the gardens. 18 plots survive, owned by a trust and restored by volunteers. A genuine hidden gem.

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