Berkeley Square

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Berkeley Square in 1830.
Berkeley Square, 2005
Berkeley Square, 2007
Berkeley Square

Berkeley Square /ˈbɑːrkl/ is a green town square (public garden square) in Mayfair in the West End of London, in the City of Westminster. It was laid out, extending further south, in the mid 18th century by the architect William Kent.

The gardens' very large London Plane trees are among the oldest in central London, planted in 1789. One in the east is a Great Tree of London.

Description[edit]

Buildings[edit]

Its buildings were predominantly residential, one remains wholly so, No.48.[a] The square is mostly offices typical of Mayfair including bluechips' meeting spaces, hedge funds, niche headhunters and wealth management businesses.

The buildings' architects included Robert Adam but 9 Fitzmaurice Place (since 1935 home of the Lansdowne Club, earlier known as Shelb(o)urne then Lansdowne House — all three names referring to the same branch of one family) is now on the south corner's approach ("Fitzmaurice Place"). The daring staircase-hall of No.44 is sometimes considered William Kent's masterpiece.[1] Gunter's Tea Shop, founded under a different name in 1757, used to trade here.

50 Berkeley Square is allegedly haunted; it used to be occupied by Maggs Brothers Antiquarian Booksellers.[2]

Approach ways include Berkeley Street, Curzon Street, and Hill Street.

Gardens[edit]

The gardens of Berkeley Square are Grade II listed (are in the initial category) on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.[3]

The square features a sculptural fountain by Alexander Munro, a Pre-Raphaelite sculptor, made in 1865. On the eastern side is a bronze sculpture of Velasquez' Reina Mariana by Manolo Valdes.

In 2008, one of the trees was said to be the "most valuable street tree in Britain" by the London Tree Officers Association, in terms of its size, health, historical significance and the number of people who live near to it.[4]

History[edit]

The square is among those[b] that demonstrate non-waiver of (no later agreement to forego) restrictive covenants. In 1696, Berkeley House on Piccadilly became Devonshire House when John Berkeley, 3rd Baron Berkeley of Stratton, sold it by deed to William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Devonshire. With express intent to bind later owners Berkeley undertook not to build on land retained very directly behind the house, so keeping the Duke's house's rear view. The southernmost portion saw either a breach and passage of 20 years without claim (the limitation period of deeds) or a release of covenant agreement struck up - it was until about 1930 legally required green space, namely gardens of 9 Fitzmaurice Place.[5] They became the new south side of the square.

Famous residents[edit]

Residents have included:

At Lansdowne House, formerly on the square:

Fictional residents[edit]

Transport[edit]

Berkeley Square is a typical prime Central London distance from:-

London Buses route 22 passes through the square.

Berkeley Square hosts vehicle charging points supplied by Elektromotive.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Numbering is from 1 to 57 but many are missed; one building is named with no numbering, Berkeley Square House
  2. ^ Analogous to locus classicus case concerning Leicester Square, a pillar of this English law, Tulk v Moxhay

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sykes, 104–111
  2. ^ walksoflondon.co.uk Archived 22 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine—50 Berkeley Square, The Most Haunted House In London, accessed 2008-02-08.
  3. ^ Historic England, "Berkeley Square (1000516)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 22 March 2018
  4. ^ "Plane lovely: The most valuable tree is identified in Berkeley Square". Evening Standard. 21 April 2008.
  5. ^ 'Berkeley Square, North Side,' in Survey of London: Volume 40, the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings), ed. F H W Sheppard (London: London County Council, 1980), 64–67, accessed 21 November 2015, online

Sources[edit]

  • "Berkeley Square, North Side", Survey of London: volume 40: The Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings) (1980) at British History Online (date accessed 5 July 2009)
  • "Berkeley Square and its neighbourhood", Old and New London: Volume 4 (1878) at British History Online (date accessed 5 July 2009)
  • Sykes, Christopher Simon. Private Palaces: Life in the Great London Houses, Chatto & Windus, 1985

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′35″N 0°8′45″W / 51.50972°N 0.14583°W / 51.50972; -0.14583