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Inventory Site Record

Gough Square (City of London)

Brief Description

Gough Square was originally laid out in the late C17th by a family of that name. No. 17 Gough Square is famous for being the house where Dr Samuel Johnson lived between 1748-59 and where he compiled his Dictionary. In 1911 the house was restored as a museum with a Curator's House to the south, a small garden between the two buildings. The north and east sides of Gough Square were rebuilt in the 1950s and further refurbishment took place in the 1990s; the square is paved with granite setts, with one tree, reproduction gas-lights and C19th and C20th cast-iron bollards, with a covered carriageway in the north-west corner. A bronze sculpture of Johnson's cat 'Hodge' on a stone pedestal was erected in 1997.

Practical Information
Site location:
Gough Square, access from Pemberton Row
Postcode:
EC4A 3EA
What 3 Words:
putty.meals.tube
Type of site:
Square
Borough:
City of London
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport:
Tube: Blackfriars (District, Circle); Chancery Lane (Central). Bus: 4, 11, 15, 26, 76, 341
Research updated:
01/06/2010
Last minor changes:
19/07/2023

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

Full Site Description

Gough Square was originally laid out in the late C17th part of housing development by a family of that name. Nearby was Holy Trinity Church built in 1838-42 as a daughter church of St Bride's Fleet Street (q.v.) but sold in 1880 and demolished in 1906 when parish was re-united with that of St Bride. No 17 Gough Square is famous for being the house where Dr Samuel Johnson lived between 1748 and 1759 and where he compiled his Dictionary, working in the attic; in 1911 the house was restored as a museum to Dr Johnson by Alfred Burr who also built the Curator's House to the south with a small garden between the two buildings. The north and east sides of Gough Square were rebuilt in the 1950s and further refurbishment took place in the 1990s; the square is paved with granite setts, with one tree, reproduction gas-lights and C19th and C20th cast-iron bollards, with a covered carriageway in the north-west corner. A bronze sculpture of Johnson's cat 'Hodge' on a stone pedestal was erected in the square in 1997.

Sources consulted:

Simon Bradley & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 1: The City of London', 1997 (1999 ed.); London Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches data

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ313812 (531390,181266)
Size in hectares:
0.05
Site ownership:
City of London Corporation
Site management:
Dept. of Technical Services
Date(s):
C17th; 1990s
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
LBI: Dr Johnson's House No 17 Gough Square. LBII: No 16 Gough Square
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

No

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:
No
In Conservation Area:
Yes
Conservation Area name:
Fleet Street
Tree Preservation Order:
No
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
Strategic Viewing Corridor
Photos

Gough Square

Gough Square, June 2010. Photo: S Williams

Dr Johnson's House, 17 Gough Square, April 2011. Photo: S Williams
2011
Statue of Dr Johnson's Cat Hodge, Gough Square, April 2011. Photo: W McDougall
2011
Gough Square, Archway leading to Pemberton Row, June 2010. Photo: S Williams
2010
Engraving of Trinity Church, Gough Square, 1838 reproduced from Godwin, 'The Churches of London' Vol II, 1839
1838

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.