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London: Lincoln's Inn Fields: unexecuted designs for building within the garden on the east side, 1800 (5)

ASK SUE WHY THIS SCHEME Originally open fields, Lincoln's Inn Fields is the largest garden square in London, covering 7ΒΌ acres. Between 1638 and 1659 houses were built and a rudimentary laying out of the Fields was done. However, it became notorious at the end of the century as ill-kept and unsafe: used as a place for executions, for dumping rubbish and was a haunt for robbers and vagabonds. In 1734-5, the residents applied for an Act of Parliament that would allow them to enclose the Fields, appoint a scavenger, a beadle and watchmen, arrange for lighting and for the laying out of the central part of the garden. Twenty one trustees, all inhabitants of the houses around the square were appointed. In due course, Soane after buying and then rebuilding No.12 and subsequently No.13 'Holborn Row' (from 1792) became a trustee.

Literature. S.Palmer,' From Fields to Gardens: the management of Lincoln's Fields in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries', The London Gardener, volume 10, 2004-5, pp.11-28.


Jill Lever January 2016
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