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Coordinates: 51°31′8″N 0°7′8″W / 51.51889°N 0.11889°W / 51.51889; -0.11889

Statue of Fenner Brockway in west entrance of Red Lion Square
Flat on the southern side of the square in which William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones lived in the 1850s

Red Lion Square is a small square in Holborn, London.[1] The square was laid out in 1684 by Nicholas Barbon,[2] taking its name from the Red Lion Inn.[1] According to some sources the bodies of three regicides—Oliver Cromwell, John Bradshaw and Henry Ireton—were placed in a pit on the site of the Square.[3]

By 1720 it was a fashionable part of London: the eminent judge Bernard Hale was a resident of Red Lion Square. In the 1860s, on the other hand, it had clearly become decidedly unfashionable: the writer Anthony Trollope in his novel Orley Farm (1862) humorously reassures his readers that one of his characters is perfectly respectable, despite living in Red Lion Square.

The centre-piece of the garden today is a statue by Ian Walters of Fenner Brockway, which was installed in 1986. There is also a memorial bust of Bertrand Russell.[4] Conway Hall—which is the home of the South Place Ethical Society and the National Secular Society—opens on to the Square. On 15 June 1974 a meeting by the National Front in Conway Hall resulted in a protest by anti-fascist groups. The following disorder and police action left one student—Kevin Gately from the University of Warwick—dead.[5]

The square today is home to the Royal College of Anaesthetists. Lamb's Conduit Street is nearby and the nearest underground station is Holborn.

The first headquarters of Marshall, Faulkner & Co, which was founded by William Morris, was at 8 Red Lion Square.


  1. ^ a b Besant 2009, p. 26.
  2. ^ "UCL Bloomsbury Project".
  3. ^ British History Online Old and New London Volume 4, Edward Walford (1878)
  4. ^ "Bertrand Russell Memorial". Mind. 353: 320. 1980.
  5. ^ "On this day 1974: Man dies in race rally clashes". BBC Online. 15 June 1974. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  • Besant, Walter (2009), Holborn and Bloomsbury (unabridged ed.),, p. 26, ISBN 9781458702197