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Russell Square is one of the largest squares in London.  Laid out in 1800, the square is dominated by the flamboyant Russell Hotel, which occupies its east side.  Opened in 1900, the Russell Hotel is probably the finest of the great Victorian hotels to survive in London. This red-brick and terracotta fantasy has colonnaded balconies and prancing cherubs beneath the main columns.  The exuberance continues in the interior where the stunning lobby is faced with marble of many colours and has an imposing stairway leading off it.  The garden of Russell Square is opened to the public and has a very convenient café.  On the southern edge of the square is a statue commemorating the 5th Duke of Bedford (1765 – 1805).  An avid farmer, the Duke is shown with a plough and sheep.  Russell Square has been refurbished and reopened in March 2002, complete with a new fountain.    

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