Considered the world’s first garden suburb, Bedford Park continues to retain its identity, community spirit and unique character bequeathed by the inspiration and genius of its original founder and architects.
Built between 1875 and 1886 in west London, Bedford Park is one of the most influential housing developments in Britain. It created a model that was emulated not just by the Garden City movement, but suburban developments around the world. Sir John Betjeman described Bedford Park as “the most significant suburb built in the last century, probably in the western world.”
In his 1904 book, Das Englische Haus, Herman Muthesius wrote: “There was at the time virtually no development that could compare in artistic charm with Bedford Park, least of all had the small house found anything like so satisfactory and artistic and economic solution as here. And herein lies the immense importance of Bedford Park in the history of the English house. It signifies, neither more nor less, the starting point of the smaller modern house, which immediately spread from there over the whole country.”
The Bedford Park conservation area stretches from Esmond Road in the west to Abinger Road in the east; from Flanders Road in the South to Fielding Road in the north. In 1967 the Grade II listing of 356 buildings was recommended. The conservation areas were declared by the boroughs of Ealing (1969) and Hounslow (1970), who administer the two halves of Bedford Park. These areas have since been expanded to take in more non-listed houses.
Bedford Park also includes a number of streets adjacent to the conservation area. Abinger Road, Whellock/Speldhurst Roads, St Albans Avenue and South Parade/Bath Road, plus Roman Road, Lonsdale Road, Gainsborough Road and Flanders Road represent the boundary of the suburb.
It is thanks to the efforts of the Bedford Park Society over the last 50 years that our neighbourhood has retained so much of its historic architecture and original charm and remains such a popular and pleasant place to live. Although planning policy is imposed by a legislative and administrative framework, the Society continues to play a critical role in helping cherish our much-loved garden suburb.