Fitzroy Square
Fitzroy Square is one of the Georgian squares in London and is the only one found in the central London area known as in Fitzrovia. The square, nearby Fitzroy Street and the Fitzroy Tavern in Charlotte Street have the family name of Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton, into whose ownership the land passed through his marriage. His descendant Charles FitzRoy, 1st Baron Southampton developed the area during the late 18th and early 19th century. Fitzroy Square was a speculative development intended to provide London residences for aristocratic families, and was built in four stages. Leases for the eastern and southern sides, designed by Robert Adam, were granted in 1792, building began in 1794 and was completed in 1798 by Adam's brothers James and William. These buildings are fronted in Portland stone brought by sea from Dorset. The Napoleonic Wars and a slump in the London property market brought a temporary stop to construction of the square after the south and east sides were completed. According to the records of the Squares Frontagers' Committee, 1815 residents looked out on 'vacant ground, the resort of the idle and profligate'. Another contemporary account describes the incomplete square: The houses are faced with stone, and have a greater proportion of architectural excellence and embellishment than most others in the metropolis. They were designed by the Adams's, but the progress of the late war prevented the completion of the design. It is much to be regretted, that it remains in its present unfinished state. The northern and western sides were subsequently constructed in 1827-1829 and 1832-1835 respectively, and are stucco-fronted. Today, the square is largely pedestrianised (scheme designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe). In 2008 the square was upgraded by relaying most of the surface at a single level, removing street clutter such as bollards, and further restricting vehicular access.

Notable buildings
Fitzroy Square is home to the embassies of Liberia (no.23) and Mozambique (no.21). The embassy of Croatia is located on Conway Street, just off the square. The offices and library of the Georgian Group are also located here, at number 6, while the headquarters of the Magistrates' Association is at number 28. St Luke's Hospital for the Clergy is situated at number 14. Numbers 1, 1A, 2-8 and 33-40 (the London Foot Hospital) are grade I listed buildings.

Notable residents
  • Theatre critic and occasional Shaw collaborator William Archer lived at number 27.
  • Ford Madox Brown lived at number 37.
  • Epidemiologist William Farr (1807”“1883) established his first medical practice in Fitzroy Square.
  • Roger Fry's Omega Workshop, creating avant-garde furniture, was housed at 33 Fitzroy Square from 1913 to 1919.
  • Bloomsbury Group artist Duncan Grant lived (c. 1909) at No.21.
  • Chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann (1818”“1892) lived at 9 Fitzroy Square (blue plaque).
  • Author Ian McEwan has also been a resident of the square, which was also the setting of much of McEwan's 2005 novel Saturday .
  • William Nisbet (1759”“1822) - Scottish physician and medical writer practised in Fitzroy Square after 1801.
  • Artist Sir William Quiller Orchardson lived at number 37 from 1862, an address he shared for three years with John Pettie.
  • English statesman and Prime Minister Lord Salisbury lived at number 21.
  • The house at 29 Fitzroy Square was home to George Bernard Shaw from 1887 until his marriage in 1898.
  • Virginia Woolf also lived at 29 Fitzroy Square, 1907-1911.
Adjacent to Fitzroy Square is Grafton Way. Venezuelan poet, jurist, philologist and patriot, Andrés Bello (1781”“1865) lived (1810) at number 58 (blue plaque), an address also associated with Latin American politician Francisco de Miranda, who is commemorated by a statue on the corner of Fitzroy Square. The square is described in William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair as the "Anglo-Indian district", where many retired officials of the civil service in India resided.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via