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Gray's Inn Square and South Square * Camden
   

Gray's Inn Square and South Square *

Gray's Inn Square, July 2002. Photo: S Williams

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* on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens

The collegiate legal institution of Gray's Inn was established some 700 years ago although many of the buildings on the site now date from post-war rebuilding following 1941 bomb damage. Gray's Inn Walks were first laid out formally in the C16th, later altered in the C18th. The gardens of Gray's Inn Square and South Square to the east of Field Court are both essentially C20th. Gray's Inn Square, 1930-31, has a central rectangular lawn with flower beds, scattered trees and an C18th sundial in the centre, moved here from the north end of Gray's Inn Walks in 1966. South Square, adjacent to Gray's Inn Hall, has an oval lawn with a statue of Francis Bacon by Frederick W Pomeroy, 1912, and a large mixed bed of shrubs and bedding known as the Treasurer's Bed.
Gray's Inn Square, Sundial, July 2002. Photo: S Williams
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Gray's Inn South Square, February 2010. Photo: S Williams
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Previous / Other name:
Site location: Gray's Inn
Postcode: WC1 > Google Map
Type of site: Institutional Grounds
Date(s): C16th; C18th; C20th
Designer(s):
Listed structures: LBI: The Hall, South Square. LBII*: Nos. 12, 13, 14 Gray's Inn Sq, Gatehouse & attached railings fronting Gray's Inn Rd; No. 1 & attached railings; Nos. 6, 7 & 8 & attached railings. LBII: Chapel, Pump and Sundial in Gray's Inn Square; No. 1 South Square, statue of Francis Bacon. Raymond Building 1-6 & attached railings; Verulam Buildings: Nos. 1-5 & attached railings, Lodge north-east corner and railings & gates to south.
Borough: Camden
Site ownership: Hon. Society of Gray's Inn
Site management: Hon. Society of Gray's Inn
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: private but some public access
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport: Tube: Chancery Lane (Central)
Gray's Inn Square, Sundial, July 2002. Photo: S Williams
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Gray's Inn South Square, February 2010. Photo: S Williams
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The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/02/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.graysinn.org.uk

Fuller information:

Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court, along with The Honourable Societies of Lincoln's Inn, the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple (q.q.v.). The collegiate legal institution of Gray's Inn was established some 700 years ago although many of the buildings on the site now date from post-war rebuilding following 1941 bomb damage, designed by Sir Edward Maufe. The Gray's Inn Walks and Gardens (q.v.) were first laid out in the C16th under the direction of Francis Bacon, but were altered from the C18th onwards. Gray's Inn Square and South Square are to the east of Field Court and the planting and layout of both is essentially C20th.

Gray's Inn Square to the north was laid out in 1930-31 and consists of a central rectangular lawn with scattered trees and yew trees in each corner. A path crosses the lawn from west to east and the sundial in the centre dates from the C18th, moved here from the north end of Gray's Inn Walks in 1966. Set in the lawn are a number of flower beds planted mainly with roses and lavender. South Square is to the south, adjacent to Gray's Inn Hall and has an oval lawn with a statue of Francis Bacon by Frederick W Pomeroy, 1912, in the east end. On the north side of the square the large mixed bed of shrubs and bedding is known as the Treasurer's Bed.

Sources consulted:

See EH Register listing: Stow, 'Survey of London' (1720); E B Cecil, 'London Parks and Gardens' (1907) pp.283-8; Country Life, 6 November 1937 pp.468-73. 13 November 1937, pp492-8; G Taylor, 'Old London Gardens' (1953), pp.36-41; Garden History 17, no. 1 (1989), pp.41-68; B Cherry & N Pevsner 'The Buildings of England: London 4: North' (1998), pp281-4. Also: Deborah Spring, 'James Dalton and Francis Bacon: Two garden makers of the Inns of Court', The London Gardener, vol.14, 2008-09
Grid ref: TQ309818
Size in hectares: 0.3512 Gr. In Sq)/0.2015 S. Sq
   
On EH National Register : Yes
EH grade: Grade II*
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
Yes
 
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List:
In Conservation Area: Yes
Conservation Area name: Bloomsbury
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: Yes - Area of Special Character: Central London Area
Other LA designation: Private Open Space. London Squares Preservation Act of 1931. Rail Safeguarding Area. Strategic View Corridor
   

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