Bedford Square, in the Bloomsbury, was built 1775-1783 and named after the landlords of the estate on which it was built: the Russell family were the Dukes of Bedford. It is one of the best preserved Georgian Squares in London and intelligent steps have been taken to its landscape setting. There is busy traffic on only one side of the square (Gower Street) and in 2005 the cracked only paving was replaced with honey coloured gravel. This is in keeping with tradition and very much pleasanter. The warm colour has an even texture which lets the ground surface take its place, with the architecture, the garden and the sky as one of the square's great compositional elements. The garden is preserved for private use, which makes it a little sad. The Architectural Association, in 35 Bedford Square, has a good bookshop in the basement.
Bedford Square in 2006 with traffic calming and honey coloured gravel
Bedford Square in 2005 with cracked paving
Bedford Square's private garden