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Ford Square Gardens Tower Hamlets

Ford Square Gardens

Ford Square, September 2007. Photo: S Williams

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Garden square developed in the 1820s on former fields. Originally for the benefit of residents of the surrounding terraces, the central garden was purchased by the London County Council and opened to the public in 1904. It was laid out as an asphalt playground and has a number of mature plane trees.
Ford Square, September 2007. Photo: S Williams
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Previous / Other name: Bedford Square
Site location: Ford Square
Postcode: E1 > Google Map
Type of site: Garden Square; Public Gardens
Date(s): Early C19th; 1904
Listed structures: local list: 16-19 and 29-33 Ford Square
Borough: Tower Hamlets
Site ownership: LB Tower Hamlets
Site management: Leisure Services, Parks and Open Spaces
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities: playground
Public transport: London Overground/Tube (District/Hammersmith & City): Whitechapel
Ford Square, September 2007. Photo: S Williams
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The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/09/2007
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Fuller information:

Formerly called Bedford Square and companion square to Sidney Square (q.v.), Ford Square was part of the 1820s housing development on former fields of the Hawkins Estate. The west side of the square retains the original early C19th three-storey terraces, with stuccoed terraces of a later date on the north and south of the square. Originally for the benefit of residents of surrounding houses, the central gardens in both Ford Square and Sidney Square were purchased by the LCC under the provisions of the Open Spaces Act of 1877. The total cost was £13,231, less a contribution of £3,000 from the vendor, with LCC contributing £8,731 and Stepney Borough Council £1,500. The cost of adapting the two gardens was £685. Ford Square Gardens opened to the public in May 1904. In 1928 the garden was described as 'A rectangular area laid out as an asphalt playground. Overlooked by dwelling-houses and a few shops. Densely developed neighbourhood.' The garden square has many notable planes but has been used primarily as sports pitch. Recently refurbished, replanted and given new railings.

Sources consulted:

Bancroft Library, Clippings. Tom Ridge, Central Stepney History Walk, (Central Stepney Regeneration Board) 1998; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928; Ford Square Sidney Square Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Guidelines, February 2007.
Grid ref: TQ349815
Size in hectares: 0.1684
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
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:
In Conservation Area: Yes
Conservation Area name: Ford Square Sidney Square
Tree Preservation Order: No
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation: Protected under London Squares Preservation Act of 1931

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