Thursday, 20 December 2018

Italian Gardens

Italian fountains and water gardens in Kensington
A little piece of Italy in the heart of London.
With so much to see in Kensington Park, I had to separate the various parts into individual posts.

It was a particularly warm morning as we made our way through Kensington Gardens, stopping at various points of interest, on our gentle stroll through the Unfinished City.

We had begun the morning at the Diana Memorial Playground, before heading to Kensington Palace and the Round Pond. From there we headed to the Long Water and the Peter Pan statue, before progressing up to the Italian Gardens. 

The Italian Gardens are a wonderfully peaceful place to take a break, considering how close they are to the Bayswater Road. With gently sloping, tree-covered greens, on either side, offering shade, a Pump House with seating and fountains that keep the heat down, you can quite easily forget that you are in the heart of London.

Brief History

The Italian Gardens were created in the 1860s, by James Pennethorne. They were based on an Italian garden that Prince Albert had created at Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight, where he and Queen Victoria spent many a summer.

The four main basins feature central rosettes of Carrara marble, with a Portland stone and white marble fountain. There are also stone statues and stone urns, which have five different designs on them.

A steam engine, which operated the fountains, was once housed in the stone Pump House, of which the pillar on the roof is a carefully concealed chimney.

At the foot of the Italian Gardens is where the River Westbourne flowed in to Kensington Gardens, before it was dammed in the late 1720s.



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