London's Parks and Green Spaces

Garden Squares

London has over 200 garden squares. Most are private to the houses surrounding them. But there are a few large public squares, mostly in central London.

Group Name Size Description
Bloomsbury Square

Bloomsbury Square is a garden square in Bloomsbury, Camden, London.

Brunswick Square

Brunswick Square is a public garden in Bloomsbury, in the London Borough of Camden. It is overlooked by the School of Pharmacy and the Foundling Museum to the north and the Brunswick Centre to the west. South of it lies International Hall (a hall of residence of the University of London ), and on its west side are the two separate but related children's charities, Coram Family and Coram's Fields. What is now Brunswick Square was originally fields that were part of the grounds of the Foundling Hospital. It was planned to be leased for housebuilding, along with Mecklenburgh Square, to raise funds for the hospital in 1790. Brunswick Square, named after Caroline of Brunswick, was finished first, being built by James Burton in 1795–1802; none of the houses remain. Leafy squares characterise the Bloomsbury district of London. Mecklenburgh Square is a matching square to the east. Russell Square is the nearest tube station to the south-west. In Jane Austen 's book Emma, the characters of Mr. and Mrs. John Knightley make their residence in Brunswick Square. John Ruskin was born at 54 Hunter Street, Brunswick Square in 1819. The writer E.M. Forster used 26 Brunswick Square as his London base from 1930 to 1939.

Finsbury Circus 2

Finsbury Circus is a park in the City of London, England ; with an area of 2.2 hectares it is the largest public open space within the City's boundaries. The 'circus' of the name reflects the elliptical shape of the space, similar to the circus venues of ancient Rome, in this case with a long axis lying east-west. It has an immaculately maintained Lawn Bowls club in the centre, which has existed in the gardens since 1925. A bandstand, built in 1955, is located nearby.

Phoenix Garden Community gardens

The Phoenix Garden is a local community garden in central London, England, established in 1984. Located in St Giles behind the Phoenix Theatre, within the London Borough of Camden, the Phoenix Garden is nestled between the busy Soho and Covent Garden areas. The Garden is located just off St Giles Passage and Stacey Street, north of Shaftesbury Avenue and east of Charing Cross Road. The Phoenix Garden is a registered charity (number 287502), and used to be known as the Covent Garden Open Spaces Association (CGOSA). The Garden has won first prize for Best Environmental Garden in the Camden in Bloom competition six times - 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. It also holds regular social events, including the extremely popular annual Agricultural Show and volunteering work-days. The Garden was set up on a carpark in the 1980s, which had itself been established on a WWII bombsite (the site was bombed in 1940). Prior to this the Garden was the site of many houses, including a pub. The Phoenix Garden has survived various challenges, including a major industrial fly-tipping incident soon after its foundation. It is the only one of the original seven Covent Garden Community Gardens to survive to this day. It continues to be run by a committee of volunteers comprising local residents and workers. As of August 2014, the Garden is partially open to the public, but some areas are closed for refurbishment.

Postman's Park

Postman's Park is a park in central London, a short distance north of St Paul's Cathedral. Bordered by Little Britain, Aldersgate Street, St. Martin's Le Grand, King Edward Street, and the site of the former headquarters of the General Post Office (GPO), it is one of the largest parks in the City of London, the walled city which gives its name to modern London. [ n 1 ] Its name reflects its popularity amongst workers from the nearby GPO's headquarters. Postman's Park opened in 1880 on the site of the former churchyard and burial ground of St Botolph's Aldersgate church and expanded over the next 20 years to incorporate the adjacent burial grounds of Christ Church Greyfriars and St Leonard, Foster Lane, together with the site of housing demolished during the widening of Little Britain in 1880; the ownership of the last location became the subject of a lengthy dispute between the church authorities, the General Post Office, the Treasury, and the City Parochial Foundation. A shortage of space for burials in London meant that corpses were often laid on the ground and covered over with soil, thus elevating the park above the streets which surround it. In 1900, the park became the location for George Frederic Watts 's Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice, a memorial to ordinary people who died while saving the lives of others and who might otherwise be forgotten, in the form of a loggia and long wall housing ceramic memorial tablets. Only four of the planned 120 memorial tablets were in place at the time of its opening, with a further nine tablets added during Watts's lifetime. Watts's wife, Mary Watts, took over the management of the project after Watts's death in 1904 and oversaw the installation of a further 35 memorial tablets in the following four years along with a small monument to Watts. Later she became disillusioned with the new tile manufacturer and, with her time and money increasingly occupied by the running of the Watts Gallery, she lost interest in the project, and only five further tablets were added during her lifetime. In 1972, key elements of the park, including the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice, were grade II listed to preserve their character. Following the 2004 film Closer, based on the 1997 play Closer by Patrick Marber, Postman's Park experienced a resurgence of interest; key scenes of both were set in the park itself. In June 2009, a city worker, Jane Shaka (née Michele), via the Diocese of London added a new tablet to the Memorial, the first new addition for 78 years. In November 2013 a free mobile app, The Everyday Heroes of Postman’s Park, was launched which documents the lives and deaths of those commemorated on the memorial.

Tavistock Square

Tavistock Square is a public square in Bloomsbury, in the London Borough of Camden.