Rochford Square: A Thing of Beauty

Rochford Square, Postcard <br>Postcard courtesy of the City of Charlottetown Archives

Rochford Square, Postcard
Postcard courtesy of the City of Charlottetown Archives

Rochford Square was one of four greenspaces set aside in the 1771 Wright Patterson Plan of Charlottetown. It was originally listed as Pownall Square (likely in honour of John Pownall, Secretary to the Board of Trade) but later changed to Rochfort (Rochford, for the Earl of Rochford, Secretary of State in the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Augustus Henry Fitzroy’s cabinet). Its early history is unclear, but in 1869, Rochford Square was among those mentioned in various newspaper reports on efforts to improve the condition of the squares. It benefited from the planting of 110 trees when the first Arbour Day was celebrated in Charlottetown on Queen Victoria’s birthday, 24 May 1884. Unfortunately, only one year later, the Charlottetown Herald reported that a number of the trees did not do well and the writer lamented that horses, pigs and cows were roaming through the square “at their own sweet will.” He called for more work to be done in the square before it was too late. The work was indeed completed and Rochford Square is perhaps the most photographed of all of our squares besides Queen Square.

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