A Tour of the Squares of London, 27th January 2001

New Street Square
New Street Square, 2:40 PM
Gunpowder Square
Gunpowder Square, 2:45 PM
Gough Square
Gough Square, 2:50 PM
Trinity Square
Trinity Square, 3:05 PM

New Street Square (TQ 314 814) is one of the dullest squares. To be honest, it doesn't even really count as a proper square: it has a large office block in the middle, with roads around forming the square, unlike the usual unbuilt section in the centre.

My next stop was Gunpowder Square (TQ 314 813), complete with its own canon, and I think the smallest square I visted. This is a part of London that fascinates me. It's really only yards from Fleet Street, and sandwiched in the heart of the city. Its tiny streets and passageways could in another situation have brought it small specialist shops and plentiful tourists and residents. Instead, the old houses, almost on top of one another, are now infiltrated by a variety of modern office buildings and the like. The area has a solitary air and dark foreboding about it.

Gough Square (TQ 314 813) was home to Samuel Johnson. A statue of his cat is seated (upon a columnar plinth) at one end of the square, watching over his house at the other end. Further information.

I took the District Line from Blackfriars station to Tower Hill. It's a popular location for tourists; the Tower of London and Tower Bridge are two of the main attractions in the area.
Trinity Square (TQ 335 808) is just outside the station. While the crowds pass it by, it does have a good view of the Tower. Back on the underground, I trekked back along the District Line to the other end of the centre of London.

Sloane Square (TQ 280 787) is situated in London's prime area for pricy and extravagant fashion labels. The initially attractive impression of the square, provided by its well-planned layout and smart monument and trees, masks what is really a dull paved area surrounded with traffic, and this somehow mirrors the vacuity of the surrounding area.

This area is filled with the type of squares of which Eaton Square (TQ 285 791) is a prime example. It may be pleasant enough for the surrounding residents to look down on, but I don't believe it serves much real purpose other than to increase the house-prices of the surrounding area.

Surrounded with embassies, Belgrave Square (TQ 283 794) is probably the largest private square in London. It's basically impossible to see inside, and its perimeter is mainly a place to park cars. The statues of Belgrave Square.

Chester Square (TQ 286 791), in the heart of Belgravia, is closed off, and really does not merit further comment. From Victoria tube station I headed east to Westminster.

Sloane Square
Sloane Square, 3:20 PM
Eaton Square
Eaton Square, 3:30 PM
Belgrave Square
Belgrave Square, 3:35 PM
Chester Square
Chester Square, 3:40 PM

Text and Images Copyright © 2001-2002 David R Edgar