Bonnington Square

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Bonnington Square

Bonnington Square is a square in Vauxhall, south London, built in the 1870s to house railway workers.[1] It became famous in the 1980s when all the houses in it, vacant and awaiting demolition, were squatted.

In the late 1970s, Bonnington Square was compulsorily purchased by the Greater London Council (GLC) for the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA), which intended to demolish it in order to build a new school.[1] A Turkish shopkeeper in one of the buildings managed to prevent the demolition through legal means during the period in which all the houses' occupants were departing, and shortly after squatters began moving into the vacated buildings.[2] The squatters subsequently formed housing cooperatives and successfully negotiated with ILEA for the right to lease the buildings.[3] The squatters established a volunteer-run vegetarian cafė, and a community garden on part of the square which had been bombed during the Second World War.

Inside the garden

In 1990 the residents of the square undertook a project to change the garden into a "Pleasure Garden" (named in homage to the nearby Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens), in the process forming the Bonnington Square Garden Association.[4] In 1998 the housing cooperative was permitted by the London Borough of Lambeth to purchase the buildings.[1]

In June 2018 two performances of Twelfth Night by Flute Theatre were held in the gardens in a production directed by actress Kelly Hunter.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Bonnington Square". London Gardens Online. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  2. ^ Bell, Annie (24 Jun 2010). "A taste of Italy in Vauxhall". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Bonnington Square – London – Self Help Housing". Bonnington Square Garden Association. 23 November 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  4. ^ Pearson, Dan (8 June 2008). "Pleasure garden". The Observer. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  5. ^ Production of Twelfth Night on the Flute Theatre website

Coordinates: 51°29′03″N 0°07′12″W / 51.4843°N 0.12°W / 51.4843; -0.12

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