The name Clapton comes from the Saxon word Clop’ton meaning ‘farm on the Hill’ and was part of the medieval settlement known as Hackney. Agriculture was central to the village economy and the area prospered. Clapton Square sits directly on an ancient drover’s route known as the Black Path. The path was used to move livestock from Waltham Abbey and beyond to Smithfields Market in the centre of London.
Population in the area increased and in 1792 construction of the Church of St John began on the site adjacent to Clapton Field, which would eventually become Clapton Square; construction of the church was completed in 1797. In 1816 Clapton Square was laid out as a private space for the residents of the houses around the Square. Clapton Square ceased officially to be a private Square in 1923 when its
management was taken over by the local government corporation.
You can read more about Clapton Square’s history in the site’s management plan.