The Trust is embarking on a project to reinstate the railings and stone base to John Nash's 1817 design.
John Nash's railings had been requisitioned as part of the war effort in the 1940's and were replaced with utilitarian chain link fencing which remained in place until the present plain mild steel railings were installed in 1974. Intended as a temporary replacement these were undoubtedly a welcome improvement, however their design does not enhance the heritage of the Square, there is a need for improved security, and as time progresses the railings and the retaining wall are showing distinct signs of ageing
Consequently the Trustees have consulted Susan Walker Architects who have experience of carrying out similar projects in other historic London Squares.
The brief is:
- to replace the modern railings and gates enclosing the Gardens to match Nash's original design but make taller
- to repair and, where necessary, rebuild the brick base wall and to replace the concrete copings with Portland stone.
A sample panel of the new railings and stone base, fabricated by Metalcraft, is on display in the Square. The project has the support of English Heritage, the Georgian Group and the St. James's Conservation Trust. The programme of work can begin once sufficient funds are in place.