The Fitzroy Square Conservation Area encompasses Fitzroy Square itself and surrounding roads in the area known as Fitzrovia. It was originally designated in 1968, just a year after Conservation Areas were created in 1967, reflecting its significance. Fitzroy Square itself is a rare example of a well-preserved Georgian square, and has a severe and imposing character distinct from the more refined and relaxed character of the squares of neighbouring Bloomsbury.
Threat Level: Low
The Fitzroy Square Conservation Area has a well defined special character and is not under any threat of harmful development.
History of Designation
The square itself and the roads immediately surrounding it were designated on 1st October 1968, making it the eldest of our Conservation Areas. On 1st November 1980 the Conservation Area was extended to include further surrounding roads with buildings of a similar character, and 1985 saw a further small expansion in the north-eastern corner to bring the Conservation Area to what it is today.
The square formed a part of the Georgian expansion of London northwards and westwards, development beginning in 1790 under developer Charles Fitzroy and the renowned Adam brothers as architects. Initially popular and respectable, like so much of what we now call ‘Central London’, with the Victorian expansion of London and the coming of the railways and the industrial revolution, the area fell out of favour as ‘men of quality’ moved further outwards, and men of lesser quality took their place. Houses were converted to hotel use, and the drop in property prices attracted artists and craftsmen, to give the area a ‘Bohemian’ feel which is mostly retained throughout Fitzrovia today. In recent times, the square itself has regained an air of respectability as institutions have taken up property, including the Georgian Group, whilst the surrounding areas retain their bohemian character.