Inventory Site Record

Percy Circus

Percy Circus (Islington)

Summary

Percy Circus was laid out and designed by William Chadwell Mylne for the New River Estate. It is named for Robert Percy Smith, a director of the New River Company and brother of Sydney Smith, the English clergyman and essayist and one of the founders of the Edinburgh Review in 1802. The circular garden is on a sloping site with paths, raised beds around the centre and mature trees, shrubs and the original C19th railings.

Basic Details
Site location:
Percy Circus
Postcode:
WC1
Type of site:
Garden Square; Public Gardens
Date(s):
1841-43
Designer(s):
William Chadwell Mylne
Listed structures:
LBII: 1 - 15 Percy Circus and attached railings
Borough:
Islington
Site ownership:
LB Islington
Site management:
Greenspace
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
8am - dusk
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport:
Tube: Angel (Northern), King's Cross (Northern, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City; Circle, Victoria, Piccadilly). Bus: 30, 73, 205, 214, 476

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.islington.gov.uk/services/parks-environment/parks/your_parks/greenspace_az

Further Information
Grid ref:
TQ309828 (530905,182831)
Size in hectares:
0.11
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:
New River
Tree Preservation Order:
No
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
Local/strategic view corridor
Fuller information

This 'residential circus is an oddity indeed, all but unique in London - the vanished Polygon in Euston was probably the nearest parallel - and further, it is built on a steep hill' (Mary Cosh). There are five entrant streets into the Circus, which is surrounded by various C19th houses with attached railings. Part of Percy Circus was lost and another part demolished for the Royal Scot Hotel, which was built with a replica façade. The Hotel was on the site of No. 16 and has a plaque with the information that Lenin and his wife stayed here in 1905 when attending the 3rd Congress of the Russian Social and Democratic Labour Party. Current improvements at Percy Circus are currently underway, including re-cutting and re-laying all the York stone paving; new tarmac perimeter path; formal yew hedge edging; selective tree removal to improve sight lines and let in light and two new borders of shade tolerant plants, including geraniums, crocosmia and other colourful flowers.

Sources consulted:

Mary Cosh, The Squares of Islington Part I: Finsbury and Clerkenwell, (London, 1990); Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993)

Photos

Percy Circus

Photo: Sarah Jackson

Click photo to enlarge.

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