The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 18 Bloomsbury and Districts to the North

Gordon Square and Tavistock Square

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At the south-west angle of Gordon Square stands the large CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH, an imposing Gothic edifice by Brandon and Ritchie (1853), with a fine interior. Adjoining is the Unitarian University Hall, with Dr. Williams's Library. Just off the north-east corner of Tavistock Square is the large building of the British Medical Association, originally designed by Sir E. Lutyens for the Theosophical Society, but never occupied by it. Its site formed part of the grounds of Tavistock House (now pulled down), occupied by Dickens for ten years immediately before his removal to Gad's Hill in 1860. Here 'Bleak House' and 'Little Dorrit' were written; here the well-known amateur theatricals took place; and here Hans Andersen visited Dickens. No. 31 Tavistock Square is the office of the Society for Psychical Research. In Tavistock Place, close by, is the Mary Ward Settlement, formerly the Passmore Edwards Settlement, opened in 1897 on the site of a house once occupied by Francis Baily, the astronomer (died 1844). This valuable social institution was erected by Mr. Passmore Edwards largely under the inspiration of Mrs. Humphry Ward's 'Robert Elsmere.' It was reorganized as a women's settlement in 1915.