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‘Cromwell burial site’ in line for a redesign

Town Hall unveil plans to revamp layout of Red Lion Square – which some claim is the final resting place of English civil war leader

02 February, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

Red Lion Square

IT is, according to legend, the last resting place for three men who were responsible for the death of Charles I: English civil war leader Oliver Cromwell; president of the High Court of Justice who tried the king, John Bradshaw; and Roundhead general Henry Ireton.

After their deaths, according to some historians, their bodies were ex­humed from burials elsewhere and dumped unceremon­iously in a pit on the site of Red Lion Square.

Now the square, in Holborn, is at the centre of council plans to redesign it. The Town Hall want to revamp the layout, with improved signage and benches.

They also plan to introduce plants that would attract bees and insects, and recruit volunteers to help keep it spick and span.

It was last given a spruce up in 1991 and Camden Council hosted an exhibition last week at Conway Hall to show designs and hear views.

Boasting statues of philosopher Bertrand Russell and fellow anti-war campaigner Fenner Brockway, it is edged by landmark buildings: it was home to Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co – founded by William Morris – and Conway Hall, home to the Conway Hall Ethical Society.

The square dates from the 1680s, built by a developer called Nicholas Barbon. He incurred the wrath of lawyers from nearby Lincoln’s Inn who felt his housing was invading on their enjoyment of what was then a semi-rural area.

Town Hall environment chief Labour councillor Adam Harrison said: “Red Lion Square is a green oasis against the backdrop of central London’s busy streets.

“This project aims to breathe further life into this much-valued space, to preserve it and encourage even more people to enjoy it.

“I encourage local residents and businesses to come along to our initial engagement event, to discuss our ideas for the project, and share their suggestions.”

The Town Hall intend hold more consultations in March before work begins in April or May.

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