Wellclose Square is nothing to look at today, dominated as it is by regulation-ugly blocks of council flats, but it was once the smartest address in the East End, the residence of silk traders and sea captains. The square was laid out in 1678 by Christopher Wren as part of his grand design for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire.
On the face of it, Milton Keynes is a model of rational town planning, built from scratch fifty years ago on twenty-two thousand acres of farmland. Laid out in a North American (or if you prefer, a Roman) grid pattern, it was intend to relieve housing demand in London and embody a new mode of twentieth-century urbanism.
Boxmoor Common is a pleasant place for a stroll on a warm spring day, verging on the bucolic were it not for the constant rumble of traffic from the A41 on its southern edge. Commons are places of recreation today, suitable for dog walking, bike riding and rambling.
There are sundials great and small everywhere in Oxford. One of the most impressive adorns the library of All Souls College and is, according to the college’s website, ‘attributed’ to Christopher Wren.