Albert Square is an outstanding example of one of London’s famous ‘garden squares’. Built on what was originally market garden land in the mid-19th century, it was completed between 1848 and 1851. The houses that back on to the Square from Clapham Road were completed at about the same time.
The surrounding streets – Aldebert Terrace, Wilkinson Street and St Stephen’s Terrace – are fine examples of Victorian terrace housing, built between 1865 and 1875.
Our area contains two pubs dating from Victorian times, the Canton on Clapham Road and the Royal Albert on St Stephen’s Terrace. The original 19th century St Stephen’s Church was demolished in 1951; the current church and adjacent blocks of flats stand on the original site.
The Tradescant sculpture
One of the most visible signs of ASSA’s work is the Tradescant sculpture outside St Stephen’s Church, on the corner of Wilkinson Street and St Stephen’s Terrace. The sculpture is the first example of a sculpture commissioned by a local residents’ association. It was paid for through pledges collected locally, and a grant from Greater London Arts.
The sculpture – which was unveiled in 1988 by naturalist David Bellamy – is a memorial to the Tradescant family. John Tradescant, father and son, were 17th century pioneer collectors of plants from around the world, and the inspiration of gardeners through time. They lived and gardened on land where our streets now stand. Find out more about them at the museum of garden history.