Copper engraving, 34.5 x 46.5 cm, black and white, engraved by Sutton Nicholls, title on swallow-tailed banderole in the sky, slight toning, blank verso. Published in the expanded version of Strype’s edition of Stow’s Survey, issued as a part-work 1754-56.
This bird’s eye view had previously appeared in John Bowles’ ‘London Described’ in 1731 (see Adams 29/21) and most of the plates were in circulation by the mid 1720s. Adams notes that the cruciform railed paths in the centre of the square which appeared in the earlier versions have been replaced with a converging pattern of diagonals, presumably reflecting changes in the square’s layout. Bloomsbury Square was one of the earliest garden squares in London. Bedford House dominates the north side of the square in this view, demolished in 1800 to make way for Bedford Place. Islington, and Highgate and Hampstead Hills are featured and named in the countryside to the north: Bloomsbury Square remained on the periphery of the built up area of London throughout the 18th century. Adams, London Illustrated, 37/96.