A nationally important Russell Gardens is Grade II Listed in the English Heritage Register of Parks & Gardens of Special Historic Interest. It covers 10 hectares and is laid out in a formal style, with modern facilities and natural play area.
It was Edward Barlow who commissioned Thomas H Mawson (1861-1933), the renowned Edwardian landscape architect and exponent of the Arts and Crafts Movement, to design the gardens.
On Barlow's death in 1912, the property passed to Mr Johnstone, a London newspaper man, and was later used as a nursing home and as a military hospital during World War II. After the war, 10 hectares of the estate were acquired by Dover Rural Council and it was opened as a public park in 1951. It was named Russell Gardens after Alderman Hilton Russell. The building of Kearsney Court is still privately owned.
Russell Gardens and Kearsney Abbey are open every day of the year, so whether you're looking for a tranquil spot for a summer picnic, or a stroll through the changing colours of autumn, there's always something different to see and do.
Dogs are welcome in both parks. Please keep dogs on their leads on the north side of Kearsney Abbey (the side where the cafe is), the old mill pond area and in Russell Gardens. Dogs can be let off their leads on the south side of Kearsney Abbey.