Nature-ist: St. Andrew's Gardens

By paulcox Last edited 185 months ago
Nature-ist: St. Andrew's Gardens

What is it? The least distinguished of Bloomsbury's old burial grounds. An inscription shows it was converted for public recreation in 1885 and opened by Lady John Manners, one of Disraeli's social set. It's opposite the London Welsh Centre, so perhaps it should be St. David's, but we don't want to see a canon turf war.

Where is it? Between Grays Inn Road and King's Cross Road, hidden behind a UCL residence hall. One might consider it the only pleasant spot on the rise of Mount Pleasant - a name that is all PR, intended to exorcise the former Coldbath Fields Prison.

Why has it tickled our fancy? While there's hardly a shortage of green spaces in Bloomsbury, this one is especially secluded, full of mature shade trees and scattered with dilapidated mementos mori. It's well tended, but not too well tended, if you know what we mean. Most crucially, it's our expert-level picnic area for visits to Exmouth Market; leave the crowded street and bring your jollof pot over here to enjoy it in tranquility. Not very Ghanaian, no, but we'll take it.

Nature notes: A glut of flowers in the spring and summer, but as of writing there were only two blooms left on the bountiful rosebushes. When the blossoms are out, butterflies come in droves. We're sure there's something more eldritch living in one of the cracked-open sarcophagi, but isn't there always?

Last Updated 11 September 2008