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MONUMENT NO. 837731

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Ornamental ha ha defining the eastern edge of Kensington Gardens. It was probably begun in the late 1720s but was completed in 1730-31 by Charles Bridgeman as part of his "walk of shade" around the perimeter of the Gardens as a whole. The ha ha was constructed in three straight sections, of varying lengths, defining the 1.1km eastern boundary of Kensington Gardens from near Buckhill Gate in the north to near Mount Gate in the south. It crossed the Long Water on an embankment now replaced by the Serpentine Bridge. There were two earthworks making up the ha ha, one on each side of and parallel to Buckhill Walk. On the eastern side, the ha ha proper comprised a continuous ditch, its vertical inner face revetted in brick and stone and backed by an earthen bank. At each change of angle, the revetment was carried round to form large curving mock bastions, each of which varied slightly in size and form, giving the ha ha a military appearance. Alongside Buck Hill Walk on the west ran a simple earthen bank, the western earthwork, which appears to be omitted from all plans of the period. With avenues of trees along both earthworks a cool shaded atmosphere was created. In 1833-4 the South Bastion was demolished and the course of the ha ha south of the the Long Water altered. In 1868 it was completely infilled as part of alterations associated with the construction of the Albert Memorial (see TQ 27 NE 79) but its approximate course is preserved in the line of West Carriage Drive. North of the Long Water the neglected ha ha was robbed for building materials in the later 19th century and partially infilled in 1916. However, its earthworks survive. The site was surveyed by RCHME field staff in 1993.

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