Literary history celebrated in Brunswick Square

Gloomy November days saw the unveiling of not one but two plaques on buildings in Brunswick Square to commemorate former inhabitants of the now-lost Georgian houses that formerly lined the square, organised by the Marchmont Association.

Simon Keynes, the great-nephew of economist John Maynard Keynes, unveiled the plaque on the UCL School of Pharmacy which now stands on the north side of the square where the original house at No 38 once was.

Keynes shared the house with his brother Geoffrey and other members of the Bloomsbury Group, including Virginia Stephen, later Virginia Woolf, her brother Adrian and Duncan Grant.

Across the square, on the south-west corner at the entrance to Grenville St, stood the building where J.M. Barrie lived soon after he arrived in London from Scotland. Although not living there when he wrote Peter Pan, he locates Wendy’s window in a corner house whose top window…looks upon a leafy square from which Peter used to fly up to it. A recent article in Vol. 19 of The London Gardener by Professor Rosemary Ashton provides the detailed story of the building’s location.  Great Ormond Street Hospital, which benefits from the royalties of Peter Pan, is just around the corner.

This plaque was unveiled by David Barrie, great-great nephew of the author, and you can see the ‘leafy square’ in the background of the photo.

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