Gray's Inn Square and South Square * (Camden)
* on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens
The collegiate legal institution of Gray's Inn was established some 700 years ago although many of the buildings on the site now date from post-war rebuilding following 1941 bomb damage. Gray's Inn Walks were first laid out formally in the C16th, later altered in the C18th. The gardens of Gray's Inn Square and South Square to the east of Field Court are both essentially C20th. Gray's Inn Square, 1930-31, has a central rectangular lawn with flower beds, scattered trees and an C18th sundial in the centre, moved here from the north end of Gray's Inn Walks in 1966. South Square, adjacent to Gray's Inn Hall, has an oval lawn with a statue of Francis Bacon by Frederick W Pomeroy, 1912, and a large mixed bed of shrubs and bedding known as the Treasurer's Bed.
- Site location:
- Gray's Inn
- What 3 Words:
- Type of site:
- Institutional Grounds
- Open to public?
- Opening times:
- private but some public access
- Special conditions:
- Public transport:
- Tube: Chancery Lane (Central)
- Research updated:
- Last minor changes:
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.graysinn.org.uk
Full Site Description
Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list
The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court, along with The Honourable Societies of Lincoln's Inn, the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple (q.q.v.). The collegiate legal institution of Gray's Inn was established some 700 years ago although many of the buildings on the site now date from post-war rebuilding following 1941 bomb damage, designed by Sir Edward Maufe. The Gray's Inn Walks and Gardens (q.v.) were first laid out in the C16th under the direction of Francis Bacon, but were altered from the C18th onwards. Gray's Inn Square and South Square are to the east of Field Court and the planting and layout of both is essentially C20th.
Gray's Inn Square to the north was laid out in 1930-31 and consists of a central rectangular lawn with scattered trees and yew trees in each corner. A path crosses the lawn from west to east and the sundial in the centre dates from the C18th, moved here from the north end of Gray's Inn Walks in 1966. Set in the lawn are a number of flower beds planted mainly with roses and lavender. South Square is to the south, adjacent to Gray's Inn Hall and has an oval lawn with a statue of Francis Bacon by Frederick W Pomeroy, 1912, in the east end. On the north side of the square the large mixed bed of shrubs and bedding is known as the Treasurer's Bed.
The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England was established in 1984 and was commonly called English Heritage. In April 2015 it split into 2 separate entities, Historic England (HE), which continues to champion and protect the historic environment, and the English Heritage Trust, whose role is to look after the 400+ historic sites and monuments owned by the state. HE manages the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) that includes over 400,000 items ranging from prehistoric monuments to office blocks, battlefields and parks, which benefit from legal protection.
See NHLE Register listing: Stow, 'Survey of London' (1720); E B Cecil, 'London Parks and Gardens' (1907) pp.283-8; Country Life, 6 November 1937 pp.468-73. 13 November 1937, pp492-8; G Taylor, 'Old London Gardens' (1953), pp.36-41; Garden History 17, no. 1 (1989), pp.41-68; B Cherry & N Pevsner 'The Buildings of England: London 4: North' (1998), pp281-4. Also: Deborah Spring, 'James Dalton and Francis Bacon: Two garden makers of the Inns of Court', The London Gardener, vol.14, 2008-09
Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
- Grid ref:
- TQ309818 (531029,181772)
- Size in hectares:
- 0.3512 Gr. In Sq)/0.2015 S. Sq
- Site ownership:
- Hon. Society of Gray's Inn
- Site management:
- Hon. Society of Gray's Inn
- C16th; C18th; C20th
- Listed structures:
- LBI: The Hall, South Square. LBII*: Nos. 12, 13, 14 Gray's Inn Sq, Gatehouse & attached railings fronting Gray's Inn Rd; No. 1 & attached railings; Nos. 6, 7 & 8 & attached railings. LBII: Chapel, Pump and Sundial in Gray's Inn Square; No. 1 South Square, statue of Francis Bacon. Raymond Building 1-6 & attached railings; Verulam Buildings: Nos. 1-5 & attached railings, Lodge north-east corner and railings & gates to south.
- On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:
- NHLE grade:
- Grade II*
- Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
- Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
Local Authority Data
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
- On Local List:
- In Conservation Area:
- Conservation Area name:
- Tree Preservation Order:
- Not known
- Nature Conservation Area:
- Green Belt:
- Metropolitan Open Land:
- Special Policy Area:
- Yes - Area of Special Character: Central London Area
- Other LA designation:
- Private Open Space. London Squares Preservation Act of 1931. Rail Safeguarding Area. Strategic View Corridor
Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.