Bradshaw’s Hand Book to London, Day 7, Gordon Square (no.43)

Gordon Square and Tavistock Square and the area between used to be part of Tottenhall Manor. Gordon Square was developed by Thomas Cubitt, starting in 1820s, and named after the 6th Duke’s wife, Lady Georgiana Gordon and the two squares were envisaged as a matching pair. (An interesting list of inhabitants here.) And you can tell by the featured image above that I liked these squares!

Residents of the square included John Maynard Keynes, and members of what became the Bloomsbury Group – Lytton Strachey, Virginia Woolf, Duncan Grant, and others.

The west side of Gordon Square
The  east side of Gordon Square
A house on the east side
A house on the east side

The west side of the square is completely different, with an Italianate facade.

The west side of Gordon Square
The west side of Gordon Square, 1850

And also on the west side is the Church of Christ the King, which was built between 1850-54 by Raphael Brandon, but left incomplete because the money ran out. (Excellent post here, with beautiful photographs and a description by Sir John Betjeman.) It was built for the Catholic Apostolic Church, a movement which originated in England in the 1830s and which followed the Nicene Creed, i.e. a conservative, movement. The church served the university between c.1960-c.90, but is now used by the Forward in Faith movement. Curiously, therefore, it seems that the university does not have a dedicated church in this area.

The Church of Christ the King, Gordon Square & Torrington Square
The Church of Christ the King, Gordon Square & Torrington Square
Line drawing of the incomplete church

Adjacent to the church is Dr Williams’ Library.

Dr Williams' Library
Dr Williams’ Library

The gardens were beautiful on this sunny afternoon, perhaps it was the sunshine, but the atmosphere was indeed peaceful – how I would love to live there!

The gardens, Gordon Square
The gardens, Gordon Square

IMG_1356, no.2

In the north-east corner, was this statue, Noor Khan, an SOE (Special Operations Executive) for the British in WWII.

Noor Khan
Noor Khan

IMG_1369

You may be interested in 

The inhabitants of Gordon Square

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