Inventory Site Record

Fassett Square

Fassett Square (Hackney)

Summary

Fassett Square is on land once owned by the Lord of the Manor of Hackney, which appears to have been acquired in 1853 by Catherine Massie and Thomas White. In 1861 William Hodson was granted leases for house building, and evidently laid out the ornamental garden. Those living in Fassett Square did not have automatic right of access to the gardens despite the obligation to pay for its upkeep. It remains for the private use of residents of Fassett Square, an oblong garden enclosed by reproduction C19th style railings, which has been restored with new planting in 1999. Fassett Square and Fassett Street were used as the model for the fictitious Albert Square in 'East Enders'.

Basic Details
Site location:
Fassett Square
Postcode:
E8 1DQ
Type of site:
Garden Square
Date(s):
1860s
Designer(s):
William Hodson
Listed structures:
LB: The German Hospital Main Block, East Extention
Borough:
Hackney
Site ownership:
private
Site management:
Fassett Square Residents Group
Open to public?
Occasionally
Opening times:
Has opened for OGSW. Otherwise private, for keyholders only
Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend 17 times, most recently in 2019.
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport:
Rail: Hackney Downs. London Overground: Hackney Central, Dalston Junction. Bus 38, 242, 277 + 30, 56, 236

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/07/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.hackney.gov.uk

Further Information
Grid ref:
TQ342848 (534218,184870)
Size in hectares:
0.06
On EH National Register :
No
EH grade:
None
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
Yes

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:
Graham Road and Mapledene
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
London Square
Fuller information

Fassett Square garden is on land once owned by the Lord of the Manor of Hackney, which appears to have been acquired in 1853 by Catherine Massie and Thomas White. The Massie family had plans for a development that incorporated the west end of Graham Road and west side of Fassett Square but this was not completed. In 1861 William Hodson was granted leases of the land for house building. The first mention of the garden is in the under leases that Hodson subsequently granted to various people, each of whom were covenanted to pay 'a fair proportion not exceeding 10s 6d per annum, in common with the other lessees, of the cost of maintenance of the ornamental ground formed or to be formed by William Hodson'. The lease for the garden itself was held from 1852 to 1951 by the Trustees of Miss Rose Kindred and Mrs Lavinia Foster, whose agent contracted with a firm of nurserymen to maintain the garden, which in 1928 is described as 'a narrow rectangular enclosure laid out with grass and shrubs and containing some pollarded trees'. It appears that those living in Fassett Square did not have automatic right of access to the gardens despite the obligation to pay for the upkeep. Today it is for the private use of residents of Fassett Square, an oblong garden enclosed by reproduction C19th style iron railings. It has been restored with new planting in 1999 through funds provided as part of the restoration of the adjacent German Hospital. Fassett Square and Fassett Street were used as the model for the fictitious Albert Square in 'East Enders'. The garden has roses and pollarded lime trees, the perimeter planted with holly, forsythia, rose beds and other shrubs.

Sources consulted:

Public Open Spaces in Hackney; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928; David Mander, Strength in the Tower, an Illustrated History of Hackney (Sutton) 1998; LB Hackney, Graham Road and Mapledene Conservation Area Appraisal, 1997

Photos

Fassett Square

Fassett Square - Photo: Candy Blackham

Click photo to enlarge.

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