Imágenes de página

square tower on each side. It is deserving of notice, not only for its venerable aspect, but also as having been the residence of Edward Cave, the printer and first publisher of the Gentleman's Magazine, the title-pages of which still retain a representation of this gate.

Buckingham-Stairs Water Gate, designed by Inigo Jones, stands at the end of Buckingham Street, in the Strand, which with the adjoining streets occupy the site of a palace of the Archbishops of York, and, subsequently, of a spacious mansion, granted to Villiers, Duke of Buckingham (favourite of James I. and his son), and to which this gate was an appendage. In "Ralph's Critical Review of Public Buildings, &c. in London," it is praised as “the most perfect building which does honour to Inigo Jones." On the side next the water are the arms of the Villiers family; and on the north side the family motto, viz. “ Fidei Coticula Crux.”

Grosvenor Square contains six acres of ground, and is planted with evergreens, &c. in its interior area, which was laid out by Kent. An Equestrian Statue, gilt, of George I., executed by Van Nost, was placed in the centre in 1726, but is nearly concealed by the shrubs and trees encompassing it. This square has been considered as the handsomest in the metropolis, exhibiting several magnificent mansions, which are not, however, arranged with much attention to architectural regularity, except on the eastern side. Sir Richard Grosvenor, Bart. was its projector, and from him it derives its name.

Portman Square ranks next to the preceding, both in point of beauty and dimensions. It was commenced in 1764, but not completed till nearly twenty years afterwards. Its mansions are large. At the north-west angle is Montague House, formerly the abode of that celebrated and kind-hearted lady, Mrs. Montague, famous for her literary talents, and also for her custom of regaling all the little chimney-sweepers of the metropolis in her house and gardens upon every First of May: her object in this was, (to use. her own expression)" that they might enjoy one happy day in the year."

Russell Square is one of the largest and most handsome in London, each side of it being about 670 feet in extent. Broad streets intersect it at the centres and angles, which not only add to its beauty, but remove an objection made by some to squares in general, by securing a thorough ventilation. Pilasters adorn the central houses, and balconies are appended to the first stories, nearly throughout; the basements in general are stuccoed. The extensive enclosure in the centre is a miniature landscape-garden, combining beauty and variety. It was laid out by H. Repton, Esq. Opposite the street leading from this to Bloomsbury Square, is a fine Statue of Francis, Duke of Bedford.

Tavistock Square, about 200 yards north of the former, is composed of nearly an uniform series of houses, the three new sides of which are well built and commo. dious family mansions. Immediately west of it, a new square, called Gordon Square, is planted and laid out. This is intended to consist of very handsome and spacious mansions, and the adjoining streets are to be laid out in a style of corresponding beauty and appropriation.

Euston Square is situated to the north of the preceding, and is designed on a very extensive scale, but is not yet completed. On the north side is a uniform range of buildings. Those on the west and east are very irregular, but the latter include the new church of St. Pancras, which is of itself an object highly ornamental. The south side is intended to consist of a regular and elegant range of houses. The centre of this square is intersected by the New Road.

Clarendon Square, in Somers Town, may be mentioned for the singularity of its centre being occupied by a mass of buildings called The Polygon.

Fitzroy Square, were it but completed in accordance with the design upon which it was some years since commenced, would form one of the most regular ornaments of the metropolis. The east and south sides only are erected, the houses of which, faced with stone, possess considerable architectural embellishment and are in

the best taste of the Adams, architects, who designed

the square.

Cavendish Square has by no means an uniform appear ance, but it contains some noble mansions. It should be mentioned as one of the earliest modern improvements of London, having been planned about 1715. In the centreis an Equestrian Statue, gilt, of William, Duke of Cumberland, the conqueror at Culloden, erected in 1770, by General Strode.

Bedford Square. The houses here have all a handsome appearance, and are built in a style of uniformity from which chiefly results the beauty of this square; its centre area is circular and planted.

Manchester Square is small, but neat. The mansion on its north side, one of the best in London, now the townresidence of the Marquess of Hertford, was erected by thel'ate Duke of Manchester, whence the name of this square, which originally was intended to have been called Queen Anne's Square, and to have had a handsome parochial church in its centre. The Duke's mansion was at one period the property of the Kings of Spain, it having been purchased as a residence for their ambassadors.

Hanover Square, being built soon after the accession of the present royal family to the throne, was named from their paternal dominions. Both here and in GeorgeStreet, adjoining, are several specimens of the German domestic style. This is a place of fashionable residence, and several of the mansions are spacious and handsome.

Soho Square. This is one of the oldest squares in London, having been built in the reign of Charles II., whose Statue is placed in the central area. This square was. originally called King's Square, and is said to have owed its present appellation to the friends of the unfortunate Duke of Monmouth, who resided in it. Soho was the watchword of the Duke's party at the battle of Sedgmoor.. The Soho Bazaar, and the house of the Linnæan Society, which was bequeathed to them by that distinguished na

turalist, the late Sir Joseph Bankes, are both on the west side of this square.

St. James's Square, is more celebrated for its distinguished residents, than for the beauty of its buildings. There are however many houses both large and convenient, and its inner area, which used to form an unsightly object, having been much enlarged, and laid out and planted with shrubs, &c., its general appearance has been improved. A circular sheet of water occupies the centre, from the midst of which rises a pedestal, surmounted by a Statue, in a stiff and artificial style, of William III. In Norfolk House, on the east side, now the town mansion of the Duke of Norfolk, his late Majesty, George the Third, was born. The carriage way of this square was relaid according to the new system of M‘Adam, in 1824. The Bishop of London has a handsome house, on the east side.

Bloomsbury Square is chiefly remarkable for a seated Statue of that distinguished statesman, Charles James Fox. On the north side of the square was formerly a mansion, designed by Inigo Jones, and in latter times called Bedford House, which, with its gardens, was sold to facilitate the improvements on the Bedford estate already alluded to. From this house, which was occupied by the Dukes of Bedford, the "Letters" of the amiable Lady Russell are dated, it having been her town residence till her death in 1723. This square was formerly called Southampton Square.

Berkeley Square, situated upon a declivity, has on its south side Lansdowne House, the residence of the Marquis of Lansdowne, standing in the midst of an extensive garden. This is a stone mansion, and was built by Messrs. Adam, for the Earl of Bute, the favourite minister of George III., and, as many have reported, of the Princess of Wales, his mother, at an expence of 22,000l.

Leicester Square has its centre decorated with a gilt Equestrian Statue of George I. Leicester Fields is the name still very commonly given to this square, the ground having been literally fields before the year 1658. Leices

ter House, a mansion which stood on the spot now occupied by the buildings called Leicester Place, was founded by one of the Sydneys, Earl of Leicester, on quitting Sydney House in the Old Bailey. It was for a brief period the abode of the unfortunate Elizabeth, titular Queen of Bohemia, and daughter of James I. who died within its walls in 1661; it was afterwards inhabited by the celebrated Prince Eugene. Pennant calls this house the pouting-place of princes, two successive Princes of Wales, George, afterwards the second monarch of that name, and Frederick, the father of the late King, having retired to it upon their quarrels with their royal sires. Sir Ashton Lever, more recently, collected here that extensive museum of natural curiosities, which afterwards obtained the name of the Leverian Museum. The house now called Sablonier's Ho. tel was formerly the residence of Hogarth the painter. In this square, also, resided Sir Joshua Reynolds and Woollett the engraver.

Queen Square is built on three sides only, having a small garden inclosed by iron rails on the north, towards Guildford Street. It is named from Queen Anne, whose Statue is placed in the central garden, which is railed round and planted with trees.

Finsbury Square. The west side of this very handsome and spacious quadrangle was erected in 1777, and then called Moore Place; the three other sides were built in the years 1789, 90, and 91. The area is well laid out and tastefully planted. The basements of the houses are of stone. At the south-west angle is the large pile of building, formerly occupied by the eccentric book-seller, Mr. James Lackington, and by him denominated the Temple of the Muses. The establishment has been removed by his successors to Pall Mall East.

Lincoln's Inn Fields. This, in point of extent, may be considered as the largest square in the metropolis, though the complete want of uniformity in the buildings composing it, detracts much from its architectural beauty. The central area was laid out by Inigo Jones, about 1620, and that celebrated architect made designs for the circum

« AnteriorContinuar »