Bradshaw says ‘..The Kennington Road, leading to Kennington Common and the southern suburbs, is a spacious well-inhabited thoroughfare, with some neat squares and terraces adjoining.’ Today the road is the A23 from Lambeth North Station to the A3 at Kennington Park, a noisy, busy road but those neat squares and terraces can still be found.
According to Edith’s Streets the road was built in 1751 by a Turnpike Trust, to lead from the new Westminster Bridge southwards into the countryside, or vice versa. Walk down the road to see some beautiful homes – it must have been a very elegant area in its heyday
Walcot Square and St Mary’s Gardens are quiet squares, built between new main roads in the 1830s on land previously used for market gardening. Edmund Walcot’s will of 1667 left 17 acres of land in North Lambeth as an asset to generate income for supporting the poor and the Walcot Charity and Foundation (previously the Lambeth Endowed Charities) continues to this day. Walcot Square was laid out on land owned by the Charity and the houses built in 1837-39. (I assume that St Mary’s Gardens has a similar history.)
Cleaver Square was laid out in 1789 and was the first residential square south of the Thames. It was known as Prince’s Square until 1937, named after Joseph Prince Esq who owned two houses on Kennington Lane, leading into the square. (Oddly I can’t find any further information about Mr Prince.) It is a beautiful, quiet, elegant square but I wonder if the residents miss a garden in the centre?