Inventory Site Record

Addington Square Garden

Addington Square Garden (Southwark)

Brief Description

Addington Square was probably named after Henry Addington, Prime Minister from 1801-1804. The houses were built on three sides around a private communal garden, the northern side once occupied by a commercial swimming bath, which later became the site of King George's Field, now within Burgess Park. The King George's Fields Foundation provided a grant of £1,000 to Camberwell Borough Council for the 1.25 acre site. The garden had been restored as a public amenity in 1897 and it is largely lawn with floral displays, and trees including mature planes.

Practical Information
Site location:
Addington Square
Type of site:
Garden Square;, Public Gardens
Open to public?
Opening times:
7.30am - sunset
Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend 5 times, most recently in 2008.
Special conditions:
Has participated in OGSW
Public transport:
Rail/Tube: Elephant & Castle (Northern, Bakerloo) then bus. Bus: 12, 35, 40, 42, 45, 68, 171, 176, 436, 468.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2002
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

Addington Square was completed by 1855, with a number of the houses dating from c.1810. The commercial swimming bath on the north side became the site of the local authority refuse depot with access to Surrey Canal. This in turn became King George's Field in c.1938, created through the King George's Fields Foundation, now part of Burgess Park (q.v.). In 1897 a successful campaign saved the formerly private square gardens from development, having become derelict, and they were renovated for public use and opened to the public in 1897; 6 seats were donated by MPGA in 1898. This represents one of the first open spaces rescued under the Gardens in Town Act. In WWII Addington Square's railings were removed for recycling as scrap metal and air raid shelters were built under the gardens.

In the early 1970s plans for Burgess Park included a proposal to demolish the houses of Addington Square, but this was successfully fought by the Camberwell Society. The GLC restored the garden railings with replicas in 1975 as part of European Architectural Heritage Year. Today the garden is largely lawn with a number of floral displays, and trees including mature planes. A sculpture by Hamish Horsley, Constellation II, has been installed in the gardens.

Sources consulted:

Joyce Bellamy notes, 2001; Tim Charlesworth, 'The Story of Burgess Park, From an intriguing past to a bright future', Groundwork Southwark, 2000; Mary Boast, 'The Story of Camberwell', LB Southwark Neighbourhood History No 1, revised 1996; London Parks and Open Spaces, London County Council 1924; Southwark Listed Buildings data.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ325775 (532570,177506)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Southwark
Site management:
1855; 1897
Listed structures:
LBII: 7 & 8; 9 & 10 &11; 13-16; 17-20; 33-37; 38-48; 47 & 48 and attached railings
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


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:
In Conservation Area:
Conservation Area name:
Addington Square
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
With Burgess Park: Major Park, Tier One/London Squares Preservation Act. Community Facilities Site

Addington Square Garden

Addington Square - Photo: Colin Wing
Date taken: 23/07/20 14:05
Click photo to enlarge.


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