The Gardens 1900-1945

Explore the story of over 100 years of history

By Hill Close Gardens

Christine Hodgetts

People working in plot 7Hill Close Gardens

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, and in the first years of the twentieth, the demand for detached gardens seems to have abated.  

Person on deckchair readingHill Close Gardens

Mary Hooper

Private provision, and the Local Authority, under the terms of the allotments legislation, were providing ample allotment land in the town, while many of the shopkeeping and professional classes were buying villas with gardens of their own on the outskirts of the town.   

The savage familyHill Close Gardens

Mr and Mrs Savage

Analysis of the prices paid for gardens in the years after 1900, together with the valuations given by the Inland Revenue in 1912 show that there had been a significant reduction in price in terms of real money.   

Chadband familyHill Close Gardens

The Chadband Family

More research would be needed to compare this fall with the cost of living, or of other land values, but it seem likely that the decline was greater than either of these elements. The appearance of poor cultivation in the photograph of 1927 may be connected with this decline in value.   

Aerial View 1945Hill Close Gardens

Aerial view with Bowling green

Prices as low as those of the 1860’s indicate a lack of demand, which may have resulted in the land lying fallow when the owner passed the ability to garden, or the tenant became slovenly. Some of the gardens may have been used primarily for their fruit, the trees being allowed to grow in grass.   

Aerial View 1946Hill Close Gardens

The south side of Linen Street, St Paul's Close and St Paul's Terrace were built on some of the gardens between 1908 and 1914. This resulted in the loss of plots 1-3, 8, 15, 20-21, 26-7 and 32a and b. The developer was William Dunn, who built a group of houses at a time.   He built the side walls of the Linen Street houses right up to the side of the access lanes, so that passages of only the original 2 and 3 m went through into the remaining gardens. This proved his undoing when he built St Paul’s Close.   

Aerial view of the glasshouseHill Close Gardens

Aerial view with St Paul's Terrace

 The Corporation declared the roadway not wide enough and refused to adopt it. It remains un-adopted to this day.     

Aerial photo of entire siteHill Close Gardens

This must have presented a warning for future developers. Plot 28 (with 32c) became the site of a single house in the 1930’s, but no further attempts were made to develop within the site until the 1980’s.   

Arial view of plot 9Hill Close Gardens

A close up of Plot 10 circa 1940's

Clearly a lot of produce was being grown at this time.

Aerial View 1947Hill Close Gardens

Aerial view with Warwick Racecourse

Some of the old families retained, and apparently used, their gardens; the Pratts, Margetts and Chadbands remained until well after the second war, and were joined by new town centre businessmen, who had resisted the flight to the suburbs.  The Durrants, ironmongers from New Street rented Plot 5 before and during the war, and bought Plot 11 in 1947 and were responsible for the crazy paving terracing. The Faulks’s (wholesale clothing merchants from Market Place) bought plots 6, 7 and 17 in the 1930’s, and later plot 5. The majority of new owners were people of more modest status, some of them, like the Savages, living in the artisan housing in the immediate neighbourhood. Many others of the known occupants were tenants of owners whose interest in gardening here was apparently short-lived, or had bought the garden as a very modestly priced investment for income.     

Glasshouse (2009-05) by Hill Close GardensHill Close Gardens

The market gardening of the Fairfields ceased when their gardens were sold in 1909, but another greengrocer came on the scene when William Biddle purchased plot 19 in 1933. He replaced the Victorian greenhouse which had probably been the plaything of a Jury Street accountant, with a large serviceable self-built greenhouse of which the remains are still present.   

Credits: Story

An excerpt from Hill Close Gardens, Linen Street, Warwick. Historic Appraisal. Detached Town Gardens at Hill Close, Warwick. Copyright Christine Hodgetts

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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