Sign saying Alfred Place Gardens.
A new public park in Fitzrovia. Photo: Fitzrovia News.

Camden Council quietly opened Alfred Place Gardens on Friday 11 March — the first new public park in the area since 1986.

With little fanfare, and only a handful of officers and councillors present, the fencing was removed and the new seating, paving, play equipment and greenery could be explored.

Seating a play equipment.
Greenery, seating and play equipment with war memorial at Chenies Street and North Crescent in the background. Photo: Fitzrovia News.

The new park is part of Camden’s West End Project — a £35m scheme to transform the Tottenham Court Road area.

Work began in September 2020 and was due to be completed by April 2021 — but delayed by Covid — in a deal worth £1.5m to idverde, and to a plan and planting scheme created by LDA Design.

Greenery, lawns and paving. View looking south.
View looking towards Store Street and South Crescent. Photo: Fitzrovia News.

The new lawns, seating, and planting was formed by removing most of the hard carriageway surface and all the car parking from the street but retaining a service road and a loading bay to provide access to homes and businesses.

The new open space will relieve the pressure on the existing small public parks in Fitzrovia.

A snake's head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) growing in the newly opened Alfred Place Gardens. F. meleagris is a bulbous perennial to 30cm in height, with lance-shaped, greyish-green leaves and 1-2 nodding, bell-shaped purple flowers, the tepals tessellated with pale pink in a checkerboard fashion. Widely naturalised in Britain, but probably not a true native, says the Royal Horticultural Society.
A snake’s head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) growing at Alfred Place Gardens. Photo: Fitzrovia News.

The first public open space on the Camden side of the neighbourhood, Whitfield Gardens, was opened in 1895 after a former burial ground was bought by the London County Council.

It was not until 1979 that The Warren park and playground opened on the site of a former car park. Then in 1986 Crabtree Fields opened as a public garden, also after the conversion from a car park.

On the Westminster side of Fitzrovia, after the Middlesex Hospital was demolished, Pearson Square was opened as part of the Fitzroy Place development in 2016, and Rathbone Square was opened after the Royal Mail West End delivery centre was redeveloped in 2017.