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The square consists of tall brick town houses with distinctive steep gables, mullioned windows in white, arched front doors, and black railings. There is a garden in the centre of the square for use by residents.
The square was built between about 1838 and 1845, and was designed in Gothic Revival style by R. C. Carpenter. The square was built at the same time as the public house at the north end, currently[when?] called The Drapers Arms, which is known for gastropub-style food.
The leading conductor Simon Rattle has a residence here. It is also favoured by lawyers, with houses costing around £2 million. The author Salman Rushdie had a basement apartment in the square, as reported in his memoir Joseph Anton: A Memoir.
- Elliott, John (2008) , "Carpenter, Richard Cromwell", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press), retrieved 21 November 2012. ((subscription or UK public library membership required))
- Elliott, John (2011), "R. C. Carpenter (1812–55): the Anglicans' Pugin", in Webster, Christopher, The Practice of Architecture: eight architects, 1830–1930, Spire Studies in Architectural History 1, Reading: Spire Books, pp. 135–137, ISBN 978-1-904965-34-3
- English Heritage, "Nos.1-24 and attached railings, Lonsdale Square (1279473)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 21 November 2012
- English Heritage, "Nos.25-48 (Consecutive) and attached railings, Lonsdale Square (1195675)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 21 November 2012
- "Simon Rattle". UK: Director Check. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Exclusive excerpt from Salman Rushdie’s memoir, Joseph Anton". thestar.com. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2012.