Manchester Square Gardens

Manchester Square Gardens
(Photo: Sarah Jackson)
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A beautiful Georgian square with a fine collection of trees, shrubs and plants, first laid out between 1776 and 1788. A major ongoing replanting programme began in 2006.

The square is named after the Duke of Manchester, who - attracted by the good duck-shooting in the area - built a house (then called Manchester House) on the north side in 1777. The 2nd Marquess of Hertford acquired the lease in 1797 and it became known as Hertford House.

In the 19th century Hertford House was home to Sir Richard Wallace (1818–90), illegitimate son of the 4th Marquess, who displayed much of the Hertford family’s fabulous collection of fine and decorative arts here. In 1897 Lady Wallace left it to the nation as the Wallace Collection.

Hertford House today is a rare example of a London town house occupying the whole side of a garden square. A church originally planned for the centre of the square was never built.

Contract gardener: Joseph Jones

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