History of the Marchmont Community Garden site:
The site was at the heart of Lamb's Conduit Fields until the cash-strapped Governors of the Foundling Hospital allowed James Burton to build hundreds of houses on their Estate, including terraces of Georgian houses along Marchmont and Kenton St between 1801 and 1806. Most of these houses were redeveloped by the Estate in 1904, by which time Marchmont Street had become the 'high street' for Bloomsbury.
The historical maps show the development of the site from farm land (Rocque 1738), to Georgian terraced houses (Horwood 1813), to purpose built Edwardian town houses and mansion blocks (Ordnance Survey 1911).
West Bros Ironmongers traded continuously on the site at 54 Marchmont Street from the 1840s to the year after this photo was taken in 1903, when the building was demolished under the Edwardian redevelopment. The photo was part of a survey commissioned by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway Co., who built what became known as the Piccadilly line, which runs under the full length of Marchmont Street. West Bros' coal cellar covers can still be seen in various local streets.
The gap site at 54 Marchmont Street, where the Brunswick Centre development was prematurely halted in the early 1970s, has been a private children's playground, a building
depot (twice) and a barren space surrounded by unsightly fencing, accessible only to residents in the adjacent flats.
With the creation of the Marchmont Community Garden the site has become public open space once again, more than 210 years after James Burton built his houses.
(Non-historical information on the sign not transcribed.)