Russell Square, WC1B

Road in/near Russell Square, existing between 1801 and now

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Road · Russell Square · WC1B ·

Russell Square was laid out from 1800 by James Burton following the demolition of Bedford House, which originally stood on the site surrounded by gardens and fields.

Cab shelter, Russell Square
Credit: The Underground Map
Its name comes from the family name of the Dukes of Bedford.

The east side was the first to be built, between 1800 and 1817; the south side followed, then the gardens, and finally, the west and part of the north side were built.

Bolton House predated the development of the square; it was built in 1759 as Baltimore House and renamed after a later occupant, the Duke of Bolton and after the Square was developed, it became integrated into its numbering scheme

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, further houses were built on what had been the gardens to the north of Bolton House; these were nos 68–70 Russell Square

It was a prestige development of big houses in a very large square - larger than any residential square previously built in London.

Main source: UCL Bloomsbury Project
Further citations and sources


Cab shelter, Russell Square
The Underground Map


Russell Square

Russell Square station, now on London's Piccadully Line, was opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway on 15 December 1906. The building was designed by Leslie Green and is a Grade II listed building.

The square is named after the surname of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford, who developed the family's London landholdings in the 17th and 18th centuries, beginning with Covent Garden (Bedford Street). Russell Square was formed when new streets were laid out by the Duke on the site of the gardens of his former home Bedford House, their London house. Other local street names relating to the Duke of Bedford include Bedford Square, Bedford Place, Bedford Avenue, Bedford Row and Bedford Way; Woburn Square and Woburn Place (from Woburn Abbey); Tavistock Square, Tavistock Place and Tavistock Street (Marquess of Tavistock), and Thornhaugh Street (after a subsidiary title Baron of Thornhaugh). The street lamps around this area carry the Bedford Arms.

The station is situated on Bernard Street, Bloomsbury. It is a small but busy station, used by office workers and tourists staying in Bloomsbury's numerous hotels.

On 7 July 2005, in a co-ordinated bomb attack, an explosion in a train travelling between King's Cross St. Pancras and Russell Square resulted in the deaths of 26 people, making up nearly half of the total fatalities from the series of attacks and also causing damage to the tunnel. It was the last of the three bombs used in the attacks on the underground, although another bomb would later explode on a bus.
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