Gower Mews, WC1E

Place Name

This street was laid out in the 1770s as part of a prestigious building project overseen by Gertrude Leveson-Gower (February 15, 1715 – July 1, 1794), the wife of landowner John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford. She was the eldest daughter of politician John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower, and his wife, the former Lady Evelyn Pierrepont, and married Russell, whose family had owned Bloomsbury since 1669, in 1737. They had two children. Up until this time the area had been marshy fields with a stream running through it, as seen on John Rocque’s map of 1746. By the early 19thCentury it had been transformed into a restricted upper-middle class suburb, with much of the development taking the form of the widening of streets and laying out squares. In 1771, after the duke died, Leveson-Gower took over and completed the works he’d started on nearby Bedford Square Garden. Camden History Society says that this street was one of the three streets of coach houses and stables designed for the coachmen and horses belong to the square, the others being Tavistock Mews to the west and Caroline Mews to the south. In the 20thCentury, its original coach houses were replaced by their modern equivalents. After the duchess’s death, her grandson Francis Russell, the 5th Duke, continued her work through the early 19thCentury, laying out Russell Square and the surrounding area.




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