London Gardens Online
Select by type
London Gardens Online

SITE DETAILS

Highlands Gardens Barnet
   

Highlands Gardens

Highlands Gardens, August 2000. Photo: S Williams

> Enlarge picture
Highlands Gardens was formerly the garden of Highlands House, built in 1897 for Bevan Braithwaite, who probably laid out the gardens. When he sold the property in 1930 the house was converted into 8 flats, although it later reverted to a family home after 1951. It gradually deteriorated and was eventually demolished in 1972 when the current flats were built. During WWII the garden was dug up for vegetable plots. Now open to the public, the gardens retain features from the old layout, including terraced lawns and water-gardens up the western side, with C19th rock-works, cascade, rustic bridges and an octagonal wooden summer house.
   
Previous / Other name:
Site location: Leicester Road & Abbotts Road/Prospect Road, Barnet Vale
Postcode: EN5 5EB
Type of site: Public Gardens 
Date(s): C19th; 1931
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
Borough: Barnet
Site ownership: LB Barnet
Site management: Leisure and Youth Services, Green Spaces Division; Friends of Highlands Gardens
Open to public? Yes
Opening times:
Special conditions: no cycling
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport: Tube: High Barnet (Northern) then bus. Bus 34, 84A, 234, 263, 307.
Highlands Gardens, Terrace lawn, August 2000. Photo: S Williams
> Enlarge
Highlands Gardens, Rockwork, August 2000. Photo: S Williams
> Enlarge
> Enlarge
Highlands Gardens, Entrance, August 2000. Photo: S Williams
> Enlarge
Opening of Highland Gardens, 1931. Courtesy of Barnet Local Studies & Archives
> Enlarge
Opening of Highland Gardens, Medals being presented to the Fire Brigade, 1931. Courtesy of Barnet Local Studies & Archives
> Enlarge
Highland Gardens, undated photograph. Courtesy of Barnet Local Studies & Archives
> Enlarge
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/05/2009
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.barnet.gov.uk

Fuller information:

Highlands Gardens was formerly the garden of Highlands House, built in 1897 for banker and government stockholder Bevan Braithwaite who probably laid out the gardens. Braithwaite was also an amateur astronomer whose telescope was housed in the copper dome that surmounted the building. When Braithwaite sold the property in 1930 the house was converted into 8 flats, although it later reverted to a family home after 1951. It gradually deteriorated and was eventually demolished in 1972 when the current flats were built. During WWII the garden was dug up for vegetable plots and the dome was painted black, as it was thought to represent an aid to aerial navigation.

The garden is a small site on sloping ground, enclosed by railings with a wooden lych-gate entrance at the junction of Leicester Road and Abbotts Road. There is a raised lawn terrace in front of which is a pergola walk, and up the western side are water-gardens with C19th rock-works, cascade, rustic bridges and an octagonal wooden summer house. The rockworks may have been carried out by the firm of James Pulham & Sons in c.1871. Although the lawn terrace is overlooked by the flats built on the site of the original house, the paths meandering through the water garden are secluded and lead to formal bedding towards the top. Highlands Gardens are quite densely planted with specimen trees and exotics including yucca, monkey puzzle and yew.

At the highest point of the park there used to be an aviary until the late 1990s, now derelict but once signposted as the 'Bird World Display Centre' but by 1996 only contained budgerigars, cockatiels, finches, rabbits, hens, partridges and guinea pigs.

Sources consulted:

Friends of Highlands Gardens website
Grid ref: TQ255959
Size in hectares: 1.13
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade :
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List:
In Conservation Area: No
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation: Small Local Park
   

| Page Top |

Discover. Visit. Research. Explore.
< Back