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Berkeley Square

Berkeley Square is a town square in the West End of London in the City of Westminster, originally laid out in the mid 18th century by architect William Kent. It is named after the noble Gloucestershire family of the same name whose London home, Berkeley House, had stood nearby until 1733.

The square features a statue by Alexander Munro, a Pre-Raphaelite sculptor, made in 1858. The surrounding London Plane treess are among the oldest in central London, planted in 1789.

The buildings around the square include several by other notable architects, including Robert Adam, who designed Lansdowne House (since 1935 home of the Lansdowne Club) in the south-west corner of the square.

Residents of Berkeley Square have included:

The song, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (lyrics by Eric Maschwitz, melody by Manning Sherwin, sung by - among others - Vera Lynn and Nat King Cole) is based upon this square - the lyrics specifically mention the locality of "Mayfair", plus "that moon that lingered over London town"; and "angels dining at the Ritz" (a nearby hotel). Nonetheless, it is unlikely that a Nightingale would appear in such an urban location.

In 1933, a film entitled Berkeley Square was released. Based on a play by John Balderston and directed by Frank Lloyd, it starred Leslie Howard and Heather Angel. Howard plays a man living in an old house who travels back in time 150 years to inhabit the body of his look-alike 18th century ancestor; he was nominated for an Academy Award for the role. The film was also an inspiration for a H. P. Lovecraft story "The Shadow out of Time" (c. 1935).

Berkeley Square is also: