Almost all the building that took place in West Hampstead between the two World Wars was carried out in the north of the area. One major part of this work was the creation of Cholmley Gardens. Cholmley Lodge, which had stood on the grounds for more than a century, was demolished in 1921.
On its grounds was then built seventeen blocks of flats fronting the four boundary roads: Mill Lane, Aldred Road, Hillfield Road, and Fortune Green Road. These blocks were put up between 1922 and 1927 and constituted Cholmley Gardens. Parts of the original lodge are still to be found in the extensive gardens of Cholmley Gardens. In particular, the main entrance steps and patio can still be found leading to the tennis court at the northern end of the gardens. Many of the retaining walls within the grounds were built using materials from the original house. Within the walls of the estate, one can find interesting pieces of the old building, including bricks with unusual markings, parts of the old coping stones and pieces of what were once pillars.
It is not currently known who owned and occupied the flats from the 1920s to 1933. But on 3rd October 1933 a lease for the estate was made out to Associated Westminster Flats for 99 years from 25th March 1933, at a rent of £4,000 (£24 per flat). Leases for individual flats, however, were made out for only fifty years.
It is known that forty-six leases expired in 1971, which implies they were set up in 1921, when the first flats started to be built.
During the course of the 1970s, the financial crisis that engulfied Britain brought the collapse of the Stern Property Group, which owned Cholmley Gardens. The relationship between Stern and Freshwater is not clear, except that William Stern married into the Freshwater family group.
With the landlords in liquidation, the tenants association fought and won a battle to purchase Cholmley Gardens on a co-ownership basis. Mr Nicholas Holcombe was chair at the time. On 27th January 1977, the property was purchased by the Association for £825,000. Cholmley Gardens Ltd was formed later that year.
Cholmley Gardens Ltd (CGL) is the present owner of the estate. All leaseholders are shareholders of this limited company. There is no other landlord. A board of ten directors is elected from among the leaseholders. There is an Annual General Meeting, which is usually held in the autumn.