|Aldermanbury Square||City of London|
It is probably near here that the English Kings lived prior to the establishment of the Palace at Westminster by Edward the Confessor. On the north side is the Hall of the Brewers' Company, based here since c.1408. Aldermanbury Square was laid out in 1962 following significant war damage in the area as part of the London Wall Plan of 1955. An oval traffic island rather than a square, it was first laid out in a symmetrical arrangement of flower beds, lawn, paving and seating. Re-landscaping took place for the Millennium enabled by the Brewers' Company but in 2006 it was again reconfigured as part of the Street Scene Challenge initiative run by the City of London. It is now a traffic-free public space with tree planting, lighting, seating and a water feature.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/05/2010
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Aldermanbury Square, May 2010. Photo: S. Williams
Click photo to enlarge.
It is probably near here that the English Kings lived prior to the establishment of the Palace at Westminster by Edward the Confessor. Aldermanbury Square was laid out in 1962 and was formerly on part of the old Addle Street, which had extended to Wood Street. On the north side is the Brewers' Company Hall, rebuilt in 1958/60 after the earlier Hall, itself rebuilt after the Fire of London of 1666, was destroyed by bombing in 1940, and the Company have been here since c.1408. The layout of the new square was part of the London Wall Plan, the extensive post-war re-planning of a 28-acre area by the Corporation of London and London County Council following its significant war damage. The overall plan of 1955 was the first scheme with a pedestrian upper walkway in this country, separating pedestrian and vehicular usage with footbridges across streets, pedestrian piazzas, and featured a number of 18-20-storey tower blocks together with lower blocks, some of which remain, although much rebuilding has taken place since. Throughout the original scheme there was provision for gardens and open spaces such as Aldermanbury Square, a number of these gardens featuring remains of the old Roman city walls like that near the remains of St Alphage's Church and the Barber-Surgeons' Hall Gardens (q.q.v.). The Museum of London completed the plan in the mid-1970s.
Aldermanbury Square was an oval traffic island rather than a square, and the original layout consisted of a symmetrical arrangement of a semicircular flower bed each end with a rectangular lawn with a central bed and two trees surrounded by paving, and seating. Re-landscaping took place for the Millennium (enabled by the Brewers' Company), including a bench inscribed with the history of the site: 'Near this space stood the Augustinian Priory of Elsing Spital, 1329-1536 and since c1400 Brewers' Hall which was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and Blitz of 1940 and rebuilt 1960'. West of the bench was a sculptural feature inscribed: '"Nothing is Distant from God" The dying words of the mother of St Augustine are offered here by the Worshipful Company of Brewers in celebration of the second Millennium of the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord'". The central lawn was replaced by shrub beds and a fountain, the original trees removed and new trees planted in the beds at each end.
This was later replaced by a new scheme designed by Eric Parry Architects and completed in 2006. The project was part of the Street Scene Challenge initiative run by the City of London, which enhances the City’s streets by reclaiming them from traffic, through high-quality projects with architects, designers and artists. Aldermanbury Square was funded by Stanhope plc, developers of 35 Basinghall Street and Scottish Widows plc, developers of Royex House building with Section 106 funding. The traffic-free square has been re-landscaped using natural stone, with over 20 trees planted, soft landscaping, new seating and new water feature on the south side with 24 jets set flush with the paving.
Simon Bradley & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 1: The City of London', 1997 (1999 ed.); B Plummer and D Shewan, 'City Gardens', London, 1992