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Edward Square Islington

Summary

Edward Square was formerly a mid C19th garden square, which opened to the public in 1888 laid out by the MPGA. Bomb damage led to the decline of the surrounding houses, which were demolished in 1964/5. By the 1980s the central garden was unkempt and, following an active campaign by local residents, the park was redesigned in consultation with local people, with an emphasis on involvement of younger users. The new landscaping includes an orchard and meadow area, a cobbled path and paving slabs planted with herbs. The park is designed in four areas, with two lawns either side of a paved area with play equipment and seating.

Basic Details

Site location:
Copenhagen Street/Caledonian Road

Postcode:
N1 ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Park

Date(s):
1853; 1888; 2000

Designer(s):
1888: MPGA; 2000: J and L Gibbons

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Islington

Site ownership:
LB Islington

Site management:
Greenspace; Friends of Edward Square (FREDS)

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
8am - dusk
Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend 2 times, most recently in 2009.

Special conditions:

Facilities:
Children's playground, basketball hoop

Events:
various, including Music Festival in June; has opened for OGSW

Public transport:
Rail/Tube: King's Cross (Northern, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City; Circle, Victoria, Piccadilly). Bus: 17, 91, 259

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/09/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.islington.gov.uk/services/parks-environment/parks/your_parks/greenspace_az

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ306835

Size in hectares:
0.45

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
Yes

Local Authority Data

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:
No

In Conservation Area:
Yes

Conservation Area name:
Barnsbury

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
No

Other LA designation:
None

Fuller information

Edward Square was built in 1853-60 and comprised 53 houses. It had a central garden, which was taken over by the Vestry in 1890 under the Open Spaces Act of 1887, and leased to the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association. It was refurbished and opened to the public in 1888 by Lord Meath, Chair of the MPGA. The houses were demolished in 1964/5 having deteriorated following bomb damage. By the 1980s the former fragment of the central garden had become a broad, unkempt stretch of grass behind the Caledonian Road.

Through SRB funding, and following an active campaign by local residents, the park was recently redesigned by Johanna Gibbons in consultation with local people, with an emphasis on the involvement of younger users. The new landscaping includes an orchard and meadow area, a cobbled path and paving slabs planted with herbs, and is entered through galvanised gates with designs by young people. The park is designed in four areas, with two lawns either side of a paved area with play equipment and seating. Among the trees planted is a weeping willow replacing a tree that had to be felled. Also involved in the new park was the artist Kate Blee who created a decorative wall panel in a geometric design and pure colour with a white line at the height of a tennis net. Poet Laureate Andrew Motion contributed a poem, which was shot-blasted onto an extensive L-shaped stepped seat. The park has a mural commemorating the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

Sources consulted:

Mary Cosh, The Squares of Islington Part II: Islington Parish, London, 1993; Charlotte Hare, 'Landscape London, a guide to recent gardens, parks and urban spaces', ellipsis, 2001.

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