Lincoln’s Inn Fields has been divided into internal quadrants for over 100 years. This helps different uses of the Fields to happen at the same time without interfering with each other. People can walk around the outside, play ball games, frisbee, picnic, chat, sit, lounge, sleep without these different activities overlapping. Fitness instructors use the railings as part of their routine and at least one disabled person uses them for guidance and support. The photo (provided by the Soane Museum) shows railings in 1912.
The archivist at the Soane Museum says:
‘The LCC originally introduced internal railings shortly after 1895. They can be glimpsed in the attached view of 1912. Despite going carefully through the LCC records at the London Metropolitan Archive I have not been able to pin down when the current inner railings were erected. However, I think the most likely date is 1950 when they were carrying out restorative work after the removal of the wartime shelter under the Fields. The fact that they have latterly been known as the ‘Festival of Britain’ railings would tie in with this.’
Camden Council wants to remove the railings. The Friends disagree with this and feel that we should explain more widely how this has come about in the interests of transparency and local democracy. In a series of posts on this site we are publishing correspondence with Council officers.