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In the centre of the Square, is the original Victorian garden. The houses have little in the way of back gardens, and would probably only have served as back yards when they were built. So, Squares, like this one have a communal garden. It is funny to think that once Hackney, pre-1830, was primarily pasture, fields and downs. (Hackney Downs, London Fields). The Square is one of the few ‘leafy’ areas in the area now.
The layout of the garden does not seem to have changed much over the decades. The path system is, as far as I can see, identical to the one shown on the 1870 map. Also, the pollarded trees that surround the outside appear exactly the same as those shown in the photograph of the German Hospital, 1936.
A recent change to the garden is the ‘unique’ Barbecue that was built after a donation by the National Lottery Fund. See right.
The next major change may be when the developers of the German Hospital, which is to be converted into apartments, make a donation towards improvements to the Square. The garden is maintained by the residents of the Square. Who have their own Residents Association. Each year the garden hosts a firework display and annual party, weather permitting.
(Top right : 1997 barbecue, lower right : the iron railings. Photos * XXV : J.Boakes)