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Cartwright Gardens (also known as Burton Terrace, Burton Crescent)


Cartwright Gardens was originally known as Burton Terrace, after its creator James Burton. He was a property developer working in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Cartwright Gardens is a crescent shaped park and street located in Bloomsbury, London. The gardens were originally built between 1809 and 1811 as part of the Skinners' Company Estate and were known as Burton Crescent after the developer James Burton.

The garden is enclosed by iron railings, with mature plane trees, laid out with grass and circular walks.

Greenwood’s map of 1830 shows the garden with a perimeter path and perimeter trees or shrubs., but no entrances are indicated. Inside, two large oval areas, possibly of lawn, are enclosed by paths and two triangular shrubberies lie between the two. No central trees or other features are shown.

Cartwright Gardens are still owned by The Skinners Company and leased to the University of London, who are the permitted keyholders of the garden. Local residents have set up a website including a history of the area.

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18th Century

In 1785, the site of Cartwright Gardens was described as ‘grass land’.

This Bloomsbury garden, a private space for 200 years, was opened to the public in December 2016 after a complete refurbishment in connection with the rebuilding of the university halls situated on its east side.

Cartwright Gardens, originally known as Burton Crescent, occupies land on The Skinners’ Company estate, which was originally known as Sandhills or Sandfield.

19th Century

John Cartwright lived at number 37 in 1820-24. He believed that political freedom was the way forward to improve society. His statue stands at the entrance to the Gardens proclaiming his beliefs and showing the esteem his supporters felt for him.

A bronze statue by George Clarke was added to the garden in 1831 which is set on a granite plinth that has details of Cartwright's works as a reformer.

Another well known resident of the Gardens was the reformer Edwin Chadwick who lived at no 1 in the 1830’s. Chadwick’s views on social reform derived from the philosopher Jeremy Bentham, founder of Utilitarianism. It was Chadwick who drafted the government report that led to the New Poor Law of 1834.

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    Open to the public