We recently posted some information about open spaces in the City on our blog. We've been on the hunt for more, for all to discover and enjoy this summer.
The churchyard of St John Zachary is on the corner of Gresham Street and Noble Street, and has been owned by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths since 1339. A plaque near the entrance proclaims it to be 'for the enjoyment of the citizens of London.' The church on the site was partly destroyed in the Great Fire of London, and the churchyard lives on as a garden. The Goldsmiths built the earliest recorded livery hall on the site, which was partially destroyed in WWll.
The garden won 'Best Garden on a Blitzed Site' in 1950, and Anne Jennings redesigned the site in the mid nineties. The present garden features mature trees, benches, a lawn and a fountain.
St Swithin's garden is hidden away off Cannon Street, in Salters Hall Court. Its the site of a Wren church that was bombed in World War ll. This garden was relandscaped in 2010, and features a memorial to the suffering of women and children in the war, designed by Nic Stradlyn-John. Prior to the Wren church, there was a medieval church on this site dedicated to Saint Swithin. Its was known as St Swithin in Candlewick Street, the medieval name of Cannon Street.
St Swithin was a 9th Century bishop in the Saxon kingdom of Wessex, whose feast day is on 15 July.
Legend has it that he asked to be buried humbly outside Winchester Cathedral when he died but his remains were dug up in 971 and moved inside the building.
The act was said to have coincided with 40 days and 40 nights of violent storms, indicating his displeasure at being moved.
The current garden is very modern in design, and really rather pleasant. There are a few seats, with planting set against grey stones. The curve of the adjacent building adds to the aesthetic. Perfect for an alfresco lunch on a sunny day.