London, United Kingdom Bedford Square


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The north side of Bedford Square, viewed from near the north-east corner

from Wikipedia by Russ London -- (Russ London). CC BY-SA 2.5

Bedford Square is a garden square in the Bloomsbury district of the Borough of Camden in London, England.


Bedford Square from the BT Tower in 1966

from Wikipedia by Christine Matthews CC BY-SA 2.0

Built between 1775 and 1783 as an upper middle class residential area, the square has had many distinguished residents, including Lord Eldon, one of Britain's longest serving and most celebrated Lord Chancellors, who lived in the largest house in the square for many years. The square takes its name from the main title of the Russell family, the Dukes of Bedford, who owned much of the land in what is now Bloomsbury.

Bedford Square is one of the best preserved set pieces of Georgian architecture in London, but most of the houses have now been converted into offices. Numbers 1-10, 11, 12–27, 28–38 and 40–54 are grade I listed buildings. The central garden remains private. Bedford College, the first place for female higher education in Britain, was formerly located in (and named after) Bedford Square. The square is Grade II* listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

Former occupants

  • No. 4: Paul Weidlinger – structural engineer

  • No. 6: Lord Eldon — Lord Chancellor

  • No. 8: Frederick Warne & Norman Warne — publishers, of Frederick Warne & Co., who published the Beatrix Potter books

  • No. 10: Charles Gilpin — MP

  • No. 11:

  • * John Scarlett Davis - artist; died there in 1845

  • * Henry Cavendish — scientist

  • No. 13: Harry Ricardo — engine designer — born here

  • No. 22: Johnston Forbes-Robertson — actor

  • No. 26: National Council for Voluntary Organisations, 1928 – 1992

  • No. 30: Jonathan Cape — publishing company

  • No. 35: Thomas Hodgkin — physician, reformer and philanthropist

  • No. 35: Thomas Wakley — founder of The Lancet

  • No. 41:

  • * William Butterfield — architect

  • * Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins — novelist

  • No. 44:

  • *Ottoline Morrell — socialite

  • *Margot Asquith — wife of the Prime Minister H. H. Asquith

  • No. 48: Elizabeth Jesser Reid — anti-slavery activist and founder of Bedford College for Women

  • No. 49: Francis Walker — entomologist; before that Ram Mohan Roy — Indian scholar and reformer

  • No. 52: — used as the contestants' house in the 2010 series of The Apprentice

Blue plaques

A number of houses have blue plaques recording famous residents:


Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap, Wikivoyage


  • WC1

Bedford Square