Kensington Roof Gardens
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|The Roof Garden|
|Location||99 High Street
The Roof Garden (formerly known as Derry and Toms Roof Gardens and Kensington Roof Gardens) is a roof garden covering 6000 m2 (1.5 acres) on top of the former Derry and Toms building on Kensington High Street, in central London, in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Since the 1980s the garden has been used as a restaurant and club.
Derry and Toms department store was opened in Kensington in 1933. The gardens were laid out between 1936 and 1938 by Ralph Hancock, a landscape architect, on the instructions of Trevor Bowen (then vice-president of Barkers, the department store giant that owned the site and constructed the building). They cost £25,000 to create and visitors were charged 1 shilling to enter. Money raised was donated to local hospitals and £120,000 was raised during the next 30 years.
It is divided into three themed gardens:
- a Spanish garden, in a Moorish style based upon the Alhambra in Spain, with fountains, vine-covered walkways and Chusan palms;
- a Tudor style garden, characterised by its archways, secret corners and hanging wisteria. Roses, lilies and lavender contribute the rich summer scent to the garden;
- an English woodland garden, with over 100 species of trees, a stream, and a garden pond that is the home to pintail ducks and four flamingos called Bill, Ben, Splosh and Pecks. There are over 30 different species of trees in the woodland garden, including trees from the original planting over sixty years ago, despite having only a metre of soil in which to grow. Although they are on a rooftop, the trees were made the subject of tree preservation orders in 1976.
- Ralph Hancock F.R.H.S. – Landscape Artist - Derry and Toms roof garden, Parks & Gardens UK. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
- The Roof Garden, 99 High St, Kensington – 1001406. Historic England. Accessed March 2017.