Past Events

Walking Tour - The Magnitude of Bedford Square


  • 28 June 2017
  • 1:30 – 2:30 pm
  • By Todd Longstaff-Gowan
  • Paul Mellon Centre

Todd’s tour will focus on the development of Bedford Square – one of London’s finest and best preserved c18th communal gardens, which was described in 1783, soon after its completion, as ‘superior in everything but magnitude to any square in Europe’. He will discuss the social and building history of the garden and its precinct, and its relationship to contemporary residential developments in the metropolis.

Todd Longstaffe-Gowan has worked on a wide range of landscape projects. Many of these have entailed conservation and restoration - undertaken with a strong awareness of gardens as spaces that are constantly evolving and changing. He draws on a diverse array of points of reference: one of his guiding principles is to allow the beauty of a garden to draw the viewer towards further imaginative and intellectual horizons. His work is informed by his training as an architect, landscape architect, historian and cultural geographer - and by his own long-established practical engagement with gardening.

He has a longstanding interest in London squares, and has recently completed the refurbishment of Charterhouse Square, and developed proposals for the redesign of Hanover Square for Westminster City Council. Todd is the author of several books including The London Town Garden 1700-1840 (2001) and The London Square: Gardens in the Midst of Town (2012).

Meeting Point: The Paul Mellon Centre, 16 Bedford Square, WC1B 3JA.

This event is part of Bedford Square Festival 28 June- 1 July 2017

Bedford Square Festival will open the doors of the cultural and educational organisations located in the Square to the public through an exciting programme of events. The Festival will celebrate the artistic, cultural and literary communities on this historic square. We hope to engage a diverse audience and inspire creative and educational opportunities. To find out about other free talks, workshops and screenings taking place please visit: