In 1823 Thomas Milner Gibson of Theberton Hall in Suffolk obtained a licence to build here from landowner William Tufnell, Lord of Barnsbury Manor. Milner Square is a counterpart to Gibson Square to the south and was the second of the two squares built for the Milner-Gibson Estate. By the 1930s the square was tenanted in large part and later became run-down. It was acquired by Islington Council in 1973 and the houses restored as Council flats. The garden was a 'vegetable garden' until the 1930s and was then laid out as a playground. It remains almost entirely hard-surfaced with a small brick pavilion and peripheral planting.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2012
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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.
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Laid out by Robert Lewis Roumieu and Alexander Dick Gough, Milner Square is 'important for the radical logic of its design, of a type rarely seen outside Scotland and the North, and unlike anything in London' (EH historians files). It is a counterpart to Gibson Square (q.v.) to the south and was the second of the two squares built as part of the Milner-Gibson Estate laid out from 1823 by Francis Edwards, a pupil of Sir John Soane. The Lord of Barnsbury Manor William Tufnell owned the land here and in 1823 Thomas Milner Gibson of Theberton Hall in Suffolk obtained a licence to build here from Tufnell's executors. He had inherited a fortune from plantations in Trinidad and became President of the Board of Trade. Milner Square and Gibson Squares were set out within Edwards' plans, although the names were reversed; building of Milner Square was delayed and a new plan was submitted by William Spender Dove, builder, in 1839 and the architects Roumieu and Gough were then appointed. Roumieu's Greek-style church for the centre of the west side was not built.
By the 1930s the square was tenanted in large part and around this time some of the elements of the buildings were lost, such as the projecting porches and decorative ironwork, which were deemed to block light to the basements. The square became run-down and was later acquired by Islington Council in 1973 and restored as Council flats, with a new building built at the north end replacing the former Barnsbury Chapel and Richford ironworks building. The garden was a 'vegetable garden' until the 1930s and was then laid out as a playground.
Mary Cosh, The Squares of Islington Part II: Islington Parish (London, 1993); Elain Harwood & Andrew Saint, Exploring England's Heritage (London, 1991); Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); Mary Cosh, Barnsbury, (London 1981); Michael Whitaker lecture; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993)