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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Streets, Squares, and Buildings

Fitzroy (Duke of Grafton) Estate

Estates in Bloomsbury

1 Duke of Bedford
2 City of London Corporation
3 Capper Mortimer
4 Fitzroy (Duke of Grafton)
5 Somers
6 Skinners' (Tonbridge)
7 Battle Bridge
8 Lucas
9 Harrison
10 Foundling Hospital
11 Rugby
12 Bedford Charity (Harpur)
13 Doughty
14 Gray's Inn
15 Bainbridge–Dyott (Rookeries)

Area between the Foundling and Harrison estates: Church land

Grey areas: fragmented ownership and haphazard development; already built up by 1800

About the Fitzroy (Duke of Grafton) Estate (also known as the Southampton Estate)

The north-west corner of Bloomsbury lies within what was originally Home Field, part of the manor of Tottenhall, owned from the seventeenth century by the Fitzroy family (Survey of London, vol. 21, 1949)

The names of the estate and many of its streets come from the name of family and its titles: Henry Fitzroy, an illegitimate son of Charles II, was created Earl of Euston and later Duke of Grafton in the seventeenth century, and his descendant Charles Fitzroy became first Baron Southampton in the eighteenth century (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)

The estate has no connection with the former Southampton estate in the south of Bloomsbury which belonged to the earlier Earls of Southampton and was acquired by the Dukes of Bedford when this Southampton title became extinct

The Bloomsbury part of the Fitzroy estate was developed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century

Most of its streets have disappeared entirely under twentieth-century redevelopment, but one of its names, Euston, was the name chosen for the entirety of the Bloomsbury portion of the New Road in 1857, as well as the name given to the first of the three major mainline railway termini built along the road


Euston Square

This square was unique in Bloomsbury and unusual in London in that it was developed with a major road going right through the middle of it

It was developed by Cubitt before 1835, possibly as early as 1817, but when the New Road was already an established through route

The original gardens of the Square stretched from the site of the Friends’ Meeting House on Euston Road to Upper Woburn Place

The north side of the square was further developed after Euston (then Euston Grove) railway terminus opened in 1837

In 1880 its identity was fractured: “By order of the Metropolitan Board of Works, that portion of Euston-square which is south of the Euston-road and adjacent to the Duke of Bedford’s estate has been re-named ‘Endsleigh-gardens’, and the houses therein re-numbered. The other portion of Euston-square which is north of the Euston-road and adjacent to the Euston Terminus retains its name and house numbers unaltered” (The Times, 28 January 1880)

The footprint of its original gardens is now barely noticeable because of twentieth-century redevelopment in the forecourt of the rebuilt Euston Station and on the opposite side of Euston Road

Some of its original Cubitt houses still remain as part of Endsleigh Gardens

This page last modified 14 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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