Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bloomsbury Square in Camden - London

Bloomsbury Square in the Borough of Camden, London

This photo from the Bloomsbury Square in London is part of one of the panoramic images found on the Tour of London. There are over 100 images taken from around London linked to an interactive map.

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Bloomsbury Square is located just south of the British Museum, on the way to Holborn in the London Borough of Camden. It is quite a pleasant square with a little play area for children set up in the North West corner. Unfortunately, much of the square is covered with paving and there is not a huge amount of space to sit down. However, like most squares in London, Bloomsbury Square is hugely popular during the lunch break with people from the surrounding offices in those rare occasions when London is sunny and warm.

The Square has been here since the late 17C, when it was called Southampton Square. It was developed by the 4th Earl of Southampton, who also gave his name to Southampton Row nearby. The Earl had his own house built here, which later passed by marriage to the Bedford Family along with the rest of the Bloomsbury Estate.

Later the square and Bloomsbury as a whole fell out of favour with the upper classes, the Duke of Bedford moved out and his home demolished to make room for terraced housing. Though none of the original 17th century buildings survive, there are buildings from the 18C and early 19C.

In the gardens of Bloomsbury Square stands a statue of James Charles Fox, a Whig and associate of the Duke of Bedford. This statue, a 3m high bronze on a granite pedastal, was erected in June 1816. J.C.Fox is seated wearing a consular robe with his right hand supporting the Magna Charta.

A recent refurbishment aimed project carried out by Camden Council set about to restore the views and link to Russell Square nearby and add new railings and a hornbeam fence along with new paths, park furniture and landscape improvements. These changes restored the square to a layout similar to that proposed by Humphrey Repton in 1806.

The nearest tube station is Holborn on the Central Line, but Russell Square and Tottenham Court Road stations are not too far away. It takes only a couple of minutes to walk from here to the British Museum. There are a large number of hotels around the area.

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The full panoramic image showing Bloomsbury Square can be found on the London tour by An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

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