Allens Gardens forms a strip of communal garden behind a development of 10 blocks of 3-storey flats on Bethune Road built in 1874 by Matthew Allen, from whom the site takes its name. He was in partnership with the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company. The garden was for the use of residents, with greenhouses and wash houses as well as recreational facilities. The Bethune Lawn Tennis and Bowling Club was based here until 1929.
The gardens were later publicly accessible, a series of garden ‘rooms’. Since 2004 a compartment in the south has become an urban market garden run by Growing Communities, with raised beds, fruit trees, and an eco-building.