Friends of Tavistock Square
Walking Tour
History 1950-Present
History 1850-1950
History 1550-1850
History 1550-1850

Prior to 1550

The land was part of the Tottenhall Manor. It then became the Bloomsbury estate, granted to the first Earl of Southampton, Thomas Wriothesley.


On John Roque’s map of the cities of London and Westminster, the area which became Tavistock Square was still fields.


Richard Horwood surveyed the northern part of the Bloomsbury estate and the site was still open fields.


A basic grid of streets was established through the estate and recorded in the estate plan of 1800. This included Tavistock Square, which was not laid as an oval.


James Burton constructed the buildings on the east side of Tavistock Square, including old Tavistock House (to the rear of the terraced houses).


Thomas Cubitt began building the northern and southern sides to Tavistock Square, completing them in about 1826. Lewis Cubitt was the designer for his brother Thomas’ buildings.


Richard Horwood’s plan shows the square at the beginning of the 19th century. The basic layout of the garden with a perimeter path is apparent, although it is not thought to have been constructed until 1825.


The western side of Tavistock Square was designed by Lewis Vuillamy and built by G Anstey and JA Frampton.


Greenwood's map shows a basic layout for Tavistock Square Garden, with planted border between the perimeter path and boundary. Planting in the central lawn is minimal.


The Bloomsbury Estate plan shows the gardens the same border and perimeter path. Tree planting is scattered with tighter groups at the centre and each corner of the lawn.


St Pancras Parish plan confirms the formal path layout and shows four entrances at the centre of each side of Tavistock Square Gardens.

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