London Square

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London Square (working title) forms part of the Council's wider Town Hall project which will bring the former Royal London Hospital on Whitechapel Road back into public use as the Council's main administrative headquarters.

London Square refers to the piece of land located between the Royal London hospital and the forthcoming Tower Hamlets Town Hall. Following completion of the new Town Hall, the square is intended to help address the under-provision of open space in the immediate Whitechapel area.

London Square measures roughly 2,770 square metres and currently serves as a pedestrian access route to the four entrances to the hospital. The site is entirely hardstanding, paved in asphalt and stone pavers.

Location Plan














History

In the early 19th Century, large areas to the rear of the hospital were used as burial grounds. Over the course of the 19th Century, space became increasingly sparce and the hospital committee took the decision to create a larger burial ground further south.

This enabled the area to be used as a drying yard for the hospital and it became known as ‘Bedstead Square’. By the end of the 19th Century, the area also served a recreational purpose and included restorative gardens.

The hospital’s most famous inpatient Joseph Merrick (known cruelly as the Elephant man), found respite at the Royal London Hospital, and was thought to have resided in rooms overlooking the Square.

The patients garden once housed several trees and covered walkways which provided shade for leisurely restorative exercise. Staff and medical students at the hospital even used the area as a sporting arena and from 1893, a Clubs Union was organised to bring together various sports, social and academic clubs that were active within the institution.


London Square Today












Vision

Initial concept designs for the square were first produced in June 2018. Since then, the Council in partnership with the Hospital, has appointed a landscape architect to develop the London Square design further with a view to achieving planning permission.

The current design (as seen below) is sympathetic to the operational constraints imposed by the hospital, but importantly addresses the need for additional public open space and planting.


Vision for the SquareVision for the Square














The design encourages pedestrian movement from East Mount Street to the hospital and offers clear sight lines to the main entrance. The square also includes a mixture of formal and informal seating. We took the opportunity to host two consultation events in the square over the summer. The feedback from both events was broadly positive and attendees were excited by the prospect of a new public square. The following points were raised most often:

  • Maximise greenery and planting
  • Improve seating options
  • Security and safety
  • New pedestrian routes
  • Concern over parking stress
  • Design the square with restorative care in mind
  • Appetite for improved and increased cycling storage
  • Lack of greenspace and soft landscaping in the area


Timeline


We submitted a planning application in Autumn 2021. Completion of the square is due to coincide with occupation of the new Tower Hamlets Town Hall in 2022.


Naming

London Square is a working title. As we approach construction of the square, we're keen to hear your naming suggestions! Some of the suggestions so far include:

  • Whitechapel Square
  • Bedstead Square (historic name)
  • Joseph Merrick Square


We look forward to hearing from you.

London Square (working title) forms part of the Council's wider Town Hall project which will bring the former Royal London Hospital on Whitechapel Road back into public use as the Council's main administrative headquarters.

London Square refers to the piece of land located between the Royal London hospital and the forthcoming Tower Hamlets Town Hall. Following completion of the new Town Hall, the square is intended to help address the under-provision of open space in the immediate Whitechapel area.

London Square measures roughly 2,770 square metres and currently serves as a pedestrian access route to the four entrances to the hospital. The site is entirely hardstanding, paved in asphalt and stone pavers.

Location Plan














History

In the early 19th Century, large areas to the rear of the hospital were used as burial grounds. Over the course of the 19th Century, space became increasingly sparce and the hospital committee took the decision to create a larger burial ground further south.

This enabled the area to be used as a drying yard for the hospital and it became known as ‘Bedstead Square’. By the end of the 19th Century, the area also served a recreational purpose and included restorative gardens.

The hospital’s most famous inpatient Joseph Merrick (known cruelly as the Elephant man), found respite at the Royal London Hospital, and was thought to have resided in rooms overlooking the Square.

The patients garden once housed several trees and covered walkways which provided shade for leisurely restorative exercise. Staff and medical students at the hospital even used the area as a sporting arena and from 1893, a Clubs Union was organised to bring together various sports, social and academic clubs that were active within the institution.


London Square Today












Vision

Initial concept designs for the square were first produced in June 2018. Since then, the Council in partnership with the Hospital, has appointed a landscape architect to develop the London Square design further with a view to achieving planning permission.

The current design (as seen below) is sympathetic to the operational constraints imposed by the hospital, but importantly addresses the need for additional public open space and planting.


Vision for the SquareVision for the Square














The design encourages pedestrian movement from East Mount Street to the hospital and offers clear sight lines to the main entrance. The square also includes a mixture of formal and informal seating. We took the opportunity to host two consultation events in the square over the summer. The feedback from both events was broadly positive and attendees were excited by the prospect of a new public square. The following points were raised most often:

  • Maximise greenery and planting
  • Improve seating options
  • Security and safety
  • New pedestrian routes
  • Concern over parking stress
  • Design the square with restorative care in mind
  • Appetite for improved and increased cycling storage
  • Lack of greenspace and soft landscaping in the area


Timeline


We submitted a planning application in Autumn 2021. Completion of the square is due to coincide with occupation of the new Tower Hamlets Town Hall in 2022.


Naming

London Square is a working title. As we approach construction of the square, we're keen to hear your naming suggestions! Some of the suggestions so far include:

  • Whitechapel Square
  • Bedstead Square (historic name)
  • Joseph Merrick Square


We look forward to hearing from you.

Page last updated: 18 Feb 2022, 11:54 AM