History of Cadogan Place Gardens
Until 1777 the site of Cadogan Place was almost completely occupied by fields.
After 1777, 100 acres (about 40 hectares) of land to the west of the site was developed as Hans Town by the architect Henry Holland (1745-1806) for the owner, Charles, 1st Earl of Cadogan. Holland reserved for himself 8.5 hectares of land on the west side of Sloane Street. On this he erected an elegant house and gardens, known as the Pavilion.
At the end of the 18th century William Salisbury, who had been a pupil of Mr Curtis at the Chelsea Physic Garden, designed a garden in Sloane Street; this was named the London Botanic Garden. The garden, about 2.5 hectares, which was bordered on the east by Cadogan Place, contained a library, hothouse, greenhouse and conservatory. In 1807 Salisbury labelled the plants into 17 divisions. Twice a week students of horticulture were given lectures in the garden and during the summer evenings, concerts would be held in the garden for subscribers. The subscribers lived within one mile of the site and paid an annual fee.
At around the same time, Humphrey Repton (1752-1818) was commissioned to work on a neighbouring garden. His work, completed in 1806, concentrated on the smaller area to the north of the Botanic Garden and other side of Pont Street. Repton used excavated soil to form dips and ridges, and laid out gently winding paths. By 1820 the layout of the Botanic Garden had been changed to suit its use as a public promenade. The new arrangements were the idea of a Mr Tate, who took over the management of the garden when Salisbury left.
The lease of Holland's development was due to expire in 1874 so in 1873 a new scheme for the development of the area was proposed. North Ritherdon, the promoter, put a bill to Parliament for improvements to the area which had become very run down. The Act of Parliament of 1874 allowed for the Cadogan and Hans Estate Co Ltd to be created. The new development was designed by Messrs Elliot and Warren; in 1875 a new road scheme was passed.
The development of Cadogan Place included the houses and 2 gardens; the new design for the gardens was simple and not altered till the onset of Dutch Elm disease in the 1970's when many trees were lost.
Subsequently extensive replanting was completed and it was around this time the underground car park was installed.