(Photo: Sarah Jackson)
Regent’s University London sits in 11 acres of Crown Estate land within Regent’s Park. The site has been dedicated to higher education for more than 100 years, and was originally home to the pioneering Bedford College for Women.
The grounds are laid out in an informal woodland style at the perimeter, with wide expanses of lawn surrounding ivy-covered buildings. A variety of trees and shrubs includes a number of mature plane trees, one of which is designated a ‘Great Tree of London’.
A ‘secret garden’ tucked away behind mature hedges features a sheltered network of paths with roses, seating, a pond and tree ferns. This area was originally the Bedford College botany garden, established in 1909, and used for studying plant classification, diseases and plant breeding.
The University campus occupies the original site of South Villa, designed by Decimus Burton, one of the original Regent’s Park villas in the plans made by architect John Nash in the early 1800s.
Bedford College took a Crown lease on the estate in 1908 and began to develop the site. New buildings, designed by architect Basil Champneys, were opened by Queen Mary in 1913. The Gate Lodge, on the south-east corner of the estate, is the only part of the original Nash/Burton design that remains.