The Garden Guide

Book: London Parks and Gardens, 1907
Chapter: Chapter 9 Squares

East End Squares

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Away in the East End there are numbers of other gloomy little squares whose gardens are the playground of the neighbourhood. They are useful spaces of air and light, and the few trees and low houses surrounding them give a little ventilation in some of the very crowded districts. They are all much alike; in some more care has been taken in the planting and selection of the trees than in others. There is De Beauvoir Square, Dalston; Arbour Square, off the Commercial Road; York Square, Stepney; Wellclose, near the Mint and London Docks; Trafalgar Square, Mile End; and many others dotted about among the dismal streets. Turning to the West End again, the largest of the square spaces is Vincent Square, which forms the playground of the Westminster boys. It derives its name from Dr. Vincent, the head-master who was chiefly instrumental in obtaining it for the use of the boys. It was first marked out in 1810, and enclosed by railings in 1842. The 10 acres of ground were part of Tothill Fields, and the site was a burial-place in the time of the Great Plague.