Lansdowne Circus was laid out in 1843-50 as part of speculative housing development, largely undertaken by John Snell. Development in this area accelerated after Vauxhall Bridge was constructed. The layout of axial roads around the formal circus, numerous street trees, and detached, semi-detached and terraced housing has little changed since the mid C19th. The central garden enclosure was planted with grass and trees but appears not to have been accessible. Lambeth Borough Council compulsorily purchased the garden in 1951.
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Lansdowne Circus comprises uniform Neo-classical style terraces around a central circular garden. It formed part of speculative housing development, largely undertaken by John Snell on land owned by James Humphries, and was designed to cater particularly for the middle classes. The layout of axial roads around the formal circus, numerous street trees, and detached, semi-detached and terraced houses has little changed since the mid C19th. St Barnabas Church was provided for the new residential area in 1850, now converted to flats as Ekarro House. The whole area was built up by the 1870s, the later houses generally in the Italianate style that had become fashionable. The garden enclosure was planted but appears not to have been accessible to residents of surrounding houses. It was kept locked from 1927, but no occupants had keys. In 1928 it was described as a 'Circular area planted with grass, thick shrubberies and some trees'. Lambeth Borough Council compulsorily purchased the garden from an unknown owner in 1951. Surrounded by listed buildings it is 'one of Lambeth's most attractive enclosures' (Draper) and remains largely grass and trees, with no features or paths, and surrounded by low utilitarian railings.
The nearby Lansdowne Green estate is generally well landscaped with shrubs, trees, pergolas and rosebeds.
Marie Draper 'Lambeth's Open Spaces, An historical account', LB Lambeth 1979; Lansdowne Gardens Conservation Area Draft CA Statement, 2007; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928