|Harrington Square Gardens||Camden|
Harrington Square was originally laid out as a planned development of the Duke of Bedford's estate. It consisted of two terraces overlooking a triangular garden enclosure, provided for the residents of the surrounding houses. Today only part of the east side of the C19th terrace remains, the north of which was destroyed by WWII bombing. The south terrace was demolished for new housing in the 1960s. The gardens, now public, are enclosed by railings and privet hedge, laid out with grass, flowerbeds, mature trees and some perimeter shrubbery.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/07/2002
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Harrington Square Gardens, July 2002. Photo: S Williams
Click photo to enlarge.
Harrington Square was originally part of the Duke of Bedford's estate, from which it takes its name. Under a Special Act of Parliament of 1800, which related to enclosures on the Bedford Estates (including Ampthill, Gordon, Harrington, Oakley and Tavistock Squares) the triangular garden enclosure was to be kept as open space. It was laid out c.1843, and planned in conjunction with the former segmental Mornington Crescent gardens, the latter lost in 1926 when the Carreras Tobacco Factory was built to the designs of M & O Collins, with an extravagant exterior said to have been inspired by the Egyptian temple of the cat-goddess Bubastis. After many years of decline the former factory was converted in 1998 to offices and is now Greater London House.
Harrington Square Gardens were bounded by mid C19th terraces on two sides and by Hampstead Road on the other. Only part of the east side of the original terraces now survives, a terrace of 10 houses built in 1842-48; the northern part of this terrace was destroyed by WWII bombing, now a post-war housing block, Hurdwick House. The south terrace was demolished for new housing in the 1960s.The garden was originally provided for the use of the Duke of Bedford, his heirs and assigns, and occupiers of the surrounding houses. The Harrington Square properties were, in earlier years, quite opulent houses and the census records show that fairly wealthy families with assorted servants lived there. A Committee of inhabitants, appointed under the Metropolis Management Act of 1855 maintained the garden out of rates levied by St Pancras Borough Council, the Act of 1800 also specifying that the rate was limited to 1s in the £ on the rateable value. The OS map of 1875 shows a perimeter path and planting, and a central circular feature. Now open to the public and maintained by Camden Council, the gardens are enclosed by railings and privet hedge, laid out with grass, flowerbeds including a central circular bed, mature trees and some perimeter shrubbery. One tree within the garden was the 2000th planted for LB Camden's Millennium Tree Planting scheme.
E Beresford Chancellor 'The History of the Squares of London: Topographical and Historical', London 1907; S.O.L; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928; Camden Town Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan, 2007