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Inventory Site Record

Union Square Gardens (Islington)

Brief Description

Union Square was built on land within the Clothworkers' Estate, which was developed from 1846. The gardens were provided for private use by leaseholders of surrounding houses but as early as 1908 had been proposed for public use by the MPGA, the area by that time densely populated and with little open space. By 1946 Union Square was owned by the London and Manchester Assurance Company who then passed the freehold to Islington Borough Council. In 1966 the square was bisected when the Packington Estate was rebuilt but the gardens were reinstated and opened to the public in c.1968.

Practical Information
Site location:
Union Square
Postcode:
N1
What 3 Words:
save.silent.bolts
Type of site:
Garden Square;, Public Gardens
Borough:
Islington
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
8am - dusk
Special conditions:
Facilities:
none
Events:
Public transport:
Rail: Essex Road. Tube: Angel (Northern). Bus: 38, 56, 73, 271, 341, 476
Research updated:
01/04/2012
Last minor changes:
19/07/2023

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.islington.gov.uk/services/parks-environment/parks/your_parks/greenspace_az

Full Site Description

Union Square is a small mid-C19th garden square built on land that was part of the Clothworkers' Estate, which was developed from 1846 by Samuel Angell, Surveyor to the Company. The square was developed for Henry Rydon who also developed Arlington Square (q.v.). The garden was accessible to the lessees of the houses in the square and was maintained by the largest leaseholder, who collected annual subscriptions from the co-lessees. In 1908 it was proposed that the gardens should be converted for public use by the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association, since the area by that time was already densely populated and with little open space. By 1946 Union Square was owned by the London and Manchester Assurance Company who then passed the freehold to Islington Borough Council. A planter in the south of the garden has an inscription detailing the donation of the garden by London And Manchester Assurance Company.

In 1966 the square was bisected when the Packington Estate was rebuilt and the housing on the west side of Union Square was demolished, the east side of c.1853 surviving. The gardens were reinstated and opened to the public in c.1968. The garden is railed and has grass, a number of rose beds and a perimeter path, with raised beds, trees and shrubs, and a central water feature.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); Mary Cosh, The Squares of Islington Part II: Islington Parish, London, 1993

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ322836 (532242,183605)
Size in hectares:
0.16
Site ownership:
LB Islington
Site management:
Greenspace
Date(s):
1851-53
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
LBII: Nos 3 - 15 Union Square; attached railings.
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.