The name Hawarden originates in the British Isles and is derived from Flintshire, North Wales, where the castle, town, and civil parish of Hawarden are located, among other places. The English descendants who made investments in and settled in Arlington Heights carried with them names that they were familiar with from their home country. During Riverside’s incorporation in 1883, the Hawarden Hills area was included in the city’s original 39.4 square mile boundary.

The neighborhood was constructed with home-sites on huge lots that were formerly utilized for citrus production during the turn of the twentieth century. Riverside‘s “citriculture” roots may still be seen today in the many City Landmarks that dot the landscape, as well as in the active orange groves in the neighboring Arlington Heights neighborhood, which were established in the early 1900s. Victoria Avenue, the Gage Canal, Orchard House, a Tudor Revival style house built between 1917 and 1920 for citrus grower and prominent attorney William G. Irving, and Greystones, as well as a Classical Revival style house built in 1902, are all City landmarks that contribute to the cultural and historical development of the neighborhood and the City of Riverside. Victoria Avenue runs along the northwest boundary of the area, and the Gage Canal runs through it from the Victoria neighborhood to the north to Arlington Heights to the south, forming a natural border between the two communities. The Orchard House and Greystones are two properties in the area that are located along Hawarden Drive.

Today, the Hawarden Hills neighborhood is primarily comprised of single-family residences on mid-sized and estate lots, with a few planned residential developments along Victoria Avenue. The neighborhood was established in the early 1900s and is primarily comprised of single-family residences on mid-sized and estate lots. The majority of the residential area was developed between 1970 and 1990, and is divided nearly evenly between mid-sized and estate lots, with a few exceptions. The natural curve of the mountainous terrain is followed by the streets, resulting in curving lanes that add variation and character to the neighborhood cityscape. Per the 2000 Census, Hawarden Hills has the second highest average property values and income levels in the city, behind only Westchester Heights.

The neighborhood is distinguished by a range of natural characteristics that give it a distinct personality. The steep hilly slope that characterizes the eastern portion of the neighborhood is particularly noticeable. This neighborhood is bisected by the Alessandro Arroyo, one of six major arroyos that run through the city from east to west across the southern half of the area. The arroyo not only acts as a channel for water, but it also has a diverse and abundant variety of animal and plant life. Residential construction has taken place in a way that has been meant to safeguard and maintain the arroyo, as well as much of the natural mountainous terrain of the surrounding area as can be seen from Orangecrest and Alessandro Heights.

Several excellent public facilities are within walking distance of the neighborhood. Poly High School, Gage Middle School, Washington and Victoria Elementary Schools, as well as the California School for the Deaf, are all located a short distance northwest of the neighborhood on Gage Avenue. Washington Park, as well as the vast walking paths and cycling lanes that run along gorgeous tree-lined Victoria Avenue, are all within walking distance.