Sir Alpheus Cleophas Morton was a British architect and surveyor, and a Liberal Party politician. He was active in local government in London from the 1880s until his death, and sat in the House of Commons in two periods between 1889 and 1918. Morton was instrumental in the opening of Finsbury Circus to the public with many people referring to it as “Morton’s Park” as a result of his work.
Nearly 100 years prior to Morton’s influence on the area, in 1787, The South Place Ethical Society began as a dissident congregation. In 1817 William Johnson Fox became minister of the congregation, which in 1824 built a new chapel in South Place. The Society occupied this building for 102 years and the name was reflected in the Society’s name — South Place Ethical Society. In 2012 the name was changed to Conway Hall Ethical Society, even though it had moved from South Place in 1926 to build its present home in Red Lion Square which opened in 1929.
Today, a plaque commemorating the South Place chapel can be seen on the building at River Plate House (nos. 12–13) which stands on the original site.