Myddleton Square was developed by the New River Company in 1824 – 27. It is named after Sir Hugh Myddelton who was responsible for building the New River to provide fresh water to London’s growing population in the early 17th century. The Square was the chief adornment of the New River Estate. Railed off within the area of the Square is St Mark’s Church designed by William Chadwell Mylne, who was surveyor to the New River Company from 1811.
Myddleton Square has always been a public garden. It is protected by the Preservation of London Squares Act 1931 and the New River Conservation Area. It cannot be used for anything except as an ornamental garden pleasure ground or ground for play, rest and recreation, and no building or other structure can be erected except for the purpose connected with it being a public square.
In 1975 the New River Company was purchased by London Merchant Securities, which in 2007 was taken over by Derwent. In 2008 Derwent sold Myddleton Square Garden and the children’s playground, to Marcus Cooper, a property developer.
The garden has been leased to Islington Council for a peppercorn rent for a number of years, and the council has the responsibility for its maintenance. The lease ran out in September 2013 and the freeholder refused to renew it. He refused an offer from the Council of £10,000 for the purchase of the freehold.