Inventory Site Record

St George's Square *

St George's Square * (Westminster)

Brief Description

* on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens

The central garden of St George's Square consists of a long rectangular enclosure between Grosvenor Road and Lupus Street, terminated at the north end by the Church of St Saviour, built in 1864. The gardens were originally provided for private use of residents of the square and were designed by Thomas Cubitt, who issued keys to the first residents in 1854. The layout is little changed and the garden still retains a C19th character with barley sugar edging to paths and shrubberies, seating, and an ornamental fountain in the centre surrounded by flower beds. Mature trees are mainly around the perimeter. At the northern end is the site of an underground bomb shelter, now planted over. In June 2020 St George's Square was added to Historic England's Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

Practical Information
Site location:
St George's Square, Pimlico
Postcode:
SW1V
Type of site:
Garden Square, Public Gardens
Date(s):
1839-44
Designer(s):
Thomas Cubitt
Listed structures:
LBII: Church of St Saviour, Cabman's shelter
Borough:
Westminster
Site ownership:
WCC
Site management:
Parks Service (Contractors: Continental Landscapes Ltd).
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
8am - dusk
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Public toilets near entrance; dog-free area
Events:
Annual South West community festival
Public transport:
Tube: Pimlico (Victoria). Bus: 24, 360, C10

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 23/06/2020
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.westminster.gov.uk

Full Site Description

Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

St George's Square has a long narrow garden between Grosvenor Road and Lupus Street, terminated at the north end by the Church of St Saviour, which was built in 1864 to the designs of Thomas Cundy the Younger. An additional small rectangular area is at the junction of Lupus Street and Belgrave Road. The two garden enclosures were provided for the private use of residents of St George's Square, and laid out by 1850 to designs of Thomas Cubitt, who issued keys to the first residents around the square in 1854. The development of the Marquess of Westminster's land in the Pimlico area had commenced c.1835 and this represents the third phase of Cubitt's Pimlico development in Westminster. St George's Square was laid out in 1839 as two parallel streets running north to south, becoming a formal square by 1843. The garden was unusual in that it extended to the river, having its own pier for boats and steamers. In 1874 the area south of Grovsenor Road was transferred to the local authority and named Pimlico Gardens (q.v.), which in 1915 opened as a public garden, St George's Square garden remained in the ownership of the Duke of Westminster with maintenance undertaken by the lessees and occupants of the houses in the square, overseen by a Committee made up of residents. In 1928 St George's Square was described as 'well-kept and attractively laid out with lawns, flower beds, etc.' and it contained 'some fine trees'. The garden is now owned by Westminster City Council and open to the public.

The layout of the garden is little changed and it still retains its C19th character with barley sugar edgings to the paths and shrubberies. Cubitt himself took an interest in the layout and planted character of his squares and supplied gardens with trees and
shrubs from his own nursery. The garden is largely laid to grass, with flower beds and mature trees, mainly around the perimeter, and an ornamental fountain, The trees are predominantly London plane but there are also sycamore, ash, horse chestnut, tree-of-heaven and red-flowered hawthorn, and an English elm tree (to check if still there). At the northern end is the site of an underground bomb shelter, now planted over. The southern extremity of the garden has an area of rough grass that is reserved for the use of dog walkers.

The triangular enclosure to the north of the main garden is in private ownership and not publicly accessible; once part of the garden square it was laid out informally with winding paths among a thicket of trees..To the north of the Square is a cabmen's shelter erected in 1893 by the Cabmen's Shelter Fund. The modern glass GLC Pimlico School, designed by John Bancroft from 1966-70 lies to the west of the square. In 2007 consultation with the local community was carried out by Groundwork North London to assess potential improvements to the gardens, including paths, planting and seats.

In June 2020, St George's Square was added to Historic England's Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest, designated Grade II. Reasons for listing include its design interest as a good example of a mid C19th garden square; its historic interest as an example of Thomas Cubitt's work and his Pimlico development; the degree of survival of its original form; and also for group value with listed buildings of St George's Square. The triangular area to the north has not been included in the listing.

Sources consulted:

B Chancellor, 'The History of the Squares of London' (1907), pp.332-33; WCC St George's Square Management Plan 2008-2013; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928; Historic England (Designation) Advice Report, 19 June 2020 Case Name: St George's Square Garden and Pimlico Gardens. Case Number: 1467484

Further Information
Grid ref:
TQ296781
Size in hectares:
1.318
On EH National Register :
Yes
EH grade:
Grade II
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:
Pimlico
Tree Preservation Order:
Yes
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Local Importance
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
London Square
Photos

St George's Square *

St George's Square, June 2010. Photograph Sally Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

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