The garden was originally the site of the entrance to a racecourse, the Hippodrome, built by John Whyte in 1837. The venture foundered as the course was too heavy-going. A plan of 1849 signed by the architect and surveyor Thomas Allason shows the garden laid out as it is today, the largest of the 16 communal gardens of the Ladbroke Estate. It is also one of the largest private garden squares in London, listed by English Heritage as Grade II. Within the railings, shrubbery and stately trees enclose a long, east-west walk along the north side, with winding paths around three spacious lawns, flanked by colourful herbaceous borders. There are two playgrounds, for small and for older children.