As noted elsewhere, there are plans to make the grassy protest site of Parliament Square considerably more convenient for protesters tourists to access by means of putting a pedestrian crossing in place.

Currently – as I have often done – to get to the Square involves a slightly hair-raising run across the very busy roads around the Square as there is no pedestrian route at all in the area.

So far, so whatever.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

However, something I have long thought would be a VERY GOOD THING would be to not just make the Square accessible to people by sorting out the traffic problem, but to lift up the grassy lawn by a metre or so, and turn it into an elevated viewing platform.

If the GLA who own the lawn part were to dump a few hundred tons of soil on top of the Square (tube tunnel underneath permitting), grass over the newly elevated area – then put stone steps around the edge, with obligatory ramp/lift somewhere… you would end up with a fantastic raised space where people can linger to take photos without road vehicles blocking their photos.

Or photographers stopping dead in the middle of the pavement and blocking everyone else behind them. Grrrr!

Maybe 6-8 foot of elevation would turn the Square into a huge focus for the area – if not indeed the key place to stand and take photos/admire the buildings.

I suspect Crossrail might be keen to donate the soil/hardcore to save some a few pennies in disposing of it elsewhere and I bet the PR would be good (Crossrail soil used to improve public spaces).

One to file under “fantasy architecture” as there is no budget to do the soil landscaping works or pay for the stone steps around the raised grassy plateau.

Bet it’d look good though.

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  1. M@

    Be interesting during a major protest. You’d get the police and protesters fighting for the high ground.

    • IanVisits

      Oh, I forgot to mention the secret fence that would rise out of the ground to seal off the area ;)

      More seriously, I doubt it would be a problem as it would be easier to seal off the elevated platform, or indeed use the landscaping opportunity to install suitable fencing around the top area.

    • Kit Green

      The high ground would make it easier for snipers on top of Portcullis House to pick off the protest leaders.

  2. Ian N

    But then it would look rubbish to drive around, as all you’d see from your car, taxi, or tourist bus lower deck would be 1m brick walls everywhere!

    • IanVisits


      I doubt that many tourists look at the Square at the moment – being more interested in the Houses of Parliament, Abbey, Supreme Court etc that run around it.

      Even then, a set of fine portland stone steps leading up to the grassy plateau is hardly a “brick wall”.

  3. Good idea. What about some grassy knolls a la Northala?

  4. Sue

    Love this idea. Actually feels like the kind of thing Boris would like too… suggest it. You never know.

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