The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 20 Covent Garden, Kingsway, Lincoln's Inn Fields

Lincoln's Inn Fields

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From Kingsway Great Queen St. and Sardinia St. both lead to Lincoln's Inn Fields, one of the largest squares in London, the houses surrounding which are now mainly occupied as solicitors� offices. It was laid out in 1618 by Inigo Jones, who is said to have built some houses on the west and south sides (now practically all gone). The gardens in the middle are notable for their plane-trees. On the east the square is bounded by Lincoln's Inn. Lindsay House (Nos. 59 and 60, west side) was built by Inigo Jones and formerly occupied by the Earls of Lindsay. The Duke of Newcastle, prime minister under George II., occupied the stately house (No. 66, with double staircase and escutcheons of its owners since the 17th century, built by Captain Charles Wynne or Winde) at the corner of Great Queen St. Among other famous residents were Lord Somers (1652-1716), Lord Erskine (1750-1823; No. 36), Blackstone (1723-80), Lord Brougham (1778-1868), Spencer Perceval (1762-1812; No. 60; tablet), John Milton, Thomas Campbell (1770-1844; No. 61, rebuilt), Lord Tennyson (1809-92), John Forster (1812-76; No. 58; identified with the abode of Mr. Tulkinghorn in �Bleak House�), and Nell Gwynn (1650-87). Before their enclosure the gardens were a favourite duelling-ground and a great haunt of thieves. The pillory was often erected here. Lord William Russell was executed in Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1688 (probably near the north-west corner, not on the spot marked by the tablet in the floor of the band-stand). On the north side of the gardens is a bench with a group by R. R. Goulden, erected in memory of Mrs. Ramsay Macdonald (died 1911), who lived at No. 3 Lincoln's Inn Fields. The tennis courts on the south side are public.