Lincoln's Inn Fields is the largest public square in London, reportedly designed to be the same size as the base of the Great Pyramid of Egypt. It was commissioned by King James in the 1630s as an improvement to the city, but according to such literary figures as John Gay, writer of The Beggar's Opera, the square quickly gained a reputation for attracting beggars and vagrants. Literature of the time described a particular group of homeless who flocked to the square known as "rufflers." These beggars posed as wounded soldiers to elicit sympathy from the public. One infamous beggar known as the Scarecrow went so far as to "disable" his right leg in order to earn money. Commitment to the role! Marvellous.
An act of Parliament closed the square in 1735, and it remained closed to the public until it was acquired by the London County Council in 1895.