London’s Pocket Parks: Savoy Chapel Gardens, WC2

Hidden across the again of the outlets on Strand might be discovered a quite fantastic wanting small pocket park that has royal connections.

Like many pocket parks in central London, this one is a former graveyard because it sits subsequent to a spiritual constructing, the just lately renamed King’s Chapel of St John the Baptist within the Precinct of the Savoy. The King’s Chapel — till just lately the Queen’s Chapel — is a shade over 500 years outdated, and is owned by the Duchy of Lancaster, aka, The King. As a chapel royal, it’s additionally a Royal Peculiar so not a part of the Church of England, however below the direct management of the Monarch.

Sitting subsequent to the chapel is the previous graveyard which has lengthy been a public park after burials have been banned in central London.

1896 postcard

It was once a reasonably plain sq. with a path across the fringe of a garden, however in 2002, for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee it was given a makeover. The outdated rectangle was changed with a extra modern oval garden lined with stone paving and the trail across the edges was lowered right into a slope to reflect the street exterior. That gives the look of a garden that barely floats above the trail on the southern finish and much more seating across the fringe of the garden.

Look fastidiously, and also you’ll spy an inscription within the stone path studying – The Savoy Chapel constructed by Henry VII accomplished circa 1512, was devoted within the title of St John the Baptist: Forerunner and herald of Jesus Christ

There are just a few benches dotted across the edges, however it’s doubtless that the stone paving across the garden gives by far probably the most seating house. There’s nonetheless quite a lot of outdated gravestones to be spied within the bushes across the edges of the park, and a sundial that was nearly managing to solid a shade on the proper time within the shady location.

Reasonably oddly, an outdated church bell can also be lurking within the undergrowth – seemingly made in 1737 if the inscription on the bell is appropriate.

The landscaping of the backyard was carried out by Robert Myers Associates, previously Elizabeth Banks Associates a panorama structure and concrete design consultancy agency based by Elizabeth Banks, a famous panorama architect.

It’s a satisfying little spot to sit down for some time, given only a trace of being one thing particular by the spectacular wanting flag flying from the pole whilst you’re munching your lunch.

The flag is the traditional Royal Banner of England – three gold lions passant on a crimson discipline – differenced with a blue label charged with gold fleur-de-lys, and right now the crest of the Dutchy of Lancaster, which is owned by the King as Duke of Lancaster.

The chapel subsequent to the pocket park can also be (often) open to the general public, Monday to Thursday 9am-4pm, and effectively value a go to should you’ve by no means been inside.

This text was printed on ianVisits


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