Archive Hour

I recently came into possession of our ‘archives’ : three large cardboard boxes with the name of a well known legal firm emblazoned on the side. At first I viewed it as a burden but when I opened them and began to read I was delighted by the stories they tell.

The Montpelier Square Garden Committee was founded sometime after the Garden Square Act of 1863… our earliest document dates from 1867. We have an almost unbroken line of minutes and reports from that dim past to today. Covered in spidery handwriting for the most part and difficult to read, the original minutes book is now cushioned by acid-free tissue and only emerges on special occasions.

The archives are important because they show us how valuable the Square Garden was to the earlier residents, helping us to understand where the garden has come from and what it could become. We can see how things have changed and how the same concerns (noise, litter, garden design) arise again and again and how the earlier people handled them.

I want the archives to be more readily available to those who are interested in them so I have begun to scan the documents and you can find them online at

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