The ‘Elfin Oak’ Of Kensington Gardens

January 13, 2012

Arts and Culture, London Sights

Just beyond the Black Lion Gate in Kensington Gardens, south of the Princess Diana Memorial Playground, you’ll find the ‘elfin oak’. The stump of a large oak tree, this now enclosed artistic marvel was created over a period of two years by illustrator Ivor Innes between 1928 and 1930, as part of a scheme to beautify the local area led by George Lansbury.

The stump is covered with a whole host of odd and colourful characters – elf lords to vagabonds, princesses to milkmaids, who are accompanied by all manner of woodland creatures. As you’ll note from the photographs, the paint on some of the carvings is a little cracked – being exposed to the elements has necessitated the renovation of the ‘elfin oak’ on two separate occasions, and I’m guessing its due for another lick of paint quite soon…

About The Londoneer

Pete Stean is a keen blogger, amateur photographer, singer and ham radio enthusiast in his spare time... Google+

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