Inventory Site Record

Munster Square (Camden)

Brief Description

Munster Square is a rectangular garden enclosed by modern railings. Modern low-rise council blocks replace the former C19th terraces that once surrounded the garden. The site was originally planned by John Nash as an additional market to serve Regent's Park in the 1820s, but never developed as such. The garden, divided by Osnaburgh Street, was leased by the Crown to the LCC who opened it to the public in June 1906, laid out with walks and seats.

Practical Information
Site location:
Osnaburgh Street/Munster Square
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Garden Square;, Public Gardens
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Rail/London Overground/Tube(Northern/Victoria):Euston. Tube: Great Portland St (Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Circle); Warren St (Victoria, Northern). Bus: C2, 24, 27, 29, 134.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.camden.gov.uk

Full Site Description

A rectangle enclosed by modern railings with grass, rose beds around the perimeter and some mature London planes, overlooked by R C Carpenter's church of St. Mary Magdalene on the south side. The church was built in 1849-52 for the Revd Edward Stuart for whom there is a memorial. The church was altered in 1866-7 by Slater and Carpenter; the north aisle and crypt added 1883-4 by R H Carpenter and B Ingelow. The rectangular shape of the garden reflects its origins as one of the additional markets, with Cumberland Market, planned by John Nash to serve the Regent's Park in the 1820s, although it was never developed as such. It is described on Horwood's map of 1799 as York Market, bisected by Osnaburgh Street, and in the early C19th as York Square. The old square was described by Summerson as 'strikingly beautiful.' Modern low-rise council blocks replace the former C19th terraces. The garden, divided by Osnaburgh Street, was leased by the Crown to the LCC who opened it to the public in June 1906, laid out with walks and seats. It is preserved under the London Squares and Enclosures (Preservation) Act, 1906, which prohibits building on the ground. In 1928 it was described as divided into two parts by Osnaburgh Street. The Eastern portion had 'a cemented playground with a few trees', and the Western portion consisted of 'a grass lawn with a flower bed in the centre.'

Sources consulted:

A Cooper ed. 'Primrose Hill to Euston Road, A Survey of Streets of West Camden', Camden History Society, 1981; Survey of London, E Beresford Chancellor 'The History of the Squares of London: Topographical and Historical', London 1907; J Summerson, 'Georgian London', 1978; Report of Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ289824 (528936,182469)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Camden
Site management:
Parks & Open Spaces
early C19th
Listed structures:
LBII*: St Mary Magdalene Church
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

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:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Public Open Space (Small Local)

Munster Square

Munster Square, July 2002. Photo: S Williams

Munster Square, July 2002. Photo: S Williams

Click a photo to enlarge.

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.