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Inventory Site Record

Tibberton Square (Islington)

Brief Description

Tibberton Square consists of two terraces facing each other, between which is an area of garden that was once for the communal use of the residents. The houses were built by Thomas Wontner in the grounds of his house, after the death of his wife in 1823, who he had met in Tibberton. The 'square' was closed by railings and gates, leaving a view to the south-east. In 1970 Islington Council purchased the square, which had become run-down. The houses were restored as flats and the garden was newly landscaped and levelled and new railings erected. The new scheme was opened in July 1979 at a ceremony attended by Sir Hugh Wontner, a descendent of Thomas Wontner.

Practical Information
Site location:
Popham Road, off New North Road
Postcode:
N1
What 3 Words:
focus.shelf.gift
Type of site:
Garden Square;, Public Gardens
Borough:
Islington
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport:
Rail: Essex Road. Bus: 38, 56, 73, 341, 271
Research updated:
01/11/2004
Last minor changes:
19/07/2023

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

Full Site Description

Tibberton Square was built by successful hat manufacturer Thomas Wontner (1747-1831) in the grounds of his house. He had met his future wife Margaret in Tibberton, Worcestershire and having moved to the City of London in 1771 he eventually opened a fur factory in Islington and built the family house nearby. He lived here from 1808 at a time when it was largely open country. When his wife died in 1823 he decided to build houses on his sloping grounds. Due to the fact that the land was rhomboid in shape, the two terraces built in 1827 were of different lengths, with larger houses built at the north-west end; other houses linking with his villa on the shortest side were planned but not completed. The 'square' was closed by railings and gates, leaving a view to the south-east. The family lived here and retained ownership of Tibberton Square until the 1890s when the west side with Wontner's Villa was purchased for new public baths, after the Baths and Wash-Houses Act of 1846-7, which required that these be provided for the community. The villa was demolished in 1894 and the Baths opened in 1895. In 1896 the remainder of the estate was sold for £8,645.

By 1928 a Mr H B Atkinson owned the 12 houses on one side of the square, as well as the square, road and pavement in front of the houses on both sides. The owners of the other 12 houses had the right to enjoy the garden, which Mr Atkinson maintained with the other owners contributing. The railings were removed during WWII and the houses became down-graded.

In 1970 LB Islington acquired the square and by 1979 the terraces had been restored and converted to flats by Andrews, Sherlock and Partners, without changing the elevations. The garden was newly landscaped and levelled and new railings erected. The new scheme was opened in July 1979 by Merlyn Rees at a ceremony attended by Sir Hugh Wontner, a descendent of Thomas Wontner; it was highly commended in a DoE competition in 1980. When Greenman Street Baths were closed, Wontner Close was built on part of the site in 1987.

Sources consulted:

Mary Cosh, The Squares of Islington Part II: Islington Parish, (London, 199)3 p146, Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998) p680

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ322839 (532176,184001)
Size in hectares:
0.05
Site ownership:
LB Islington
Site management:
Greenspace
Date(s):
1823-28; 1979
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
LB: Nos. 1-12; 18-29 Tibberton 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:

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:
No
Tree Preservation Order:
No
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
None

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.