London Parks & Gardens Trust

A Walk through Southwark

Southwark Cathedral Gardens

Southwark Cathedral Gardens

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Directions

From Borough underground station, follow the directions above (see Section 1) to Little Dorrit Children's Playground and the Red Cross Garden. From the main entrance to the Red Cross Garden, turn left and walk along Redcross Way, crossing over Union Street and Southwark Street. Bear right into Park Street, passing beneath a railway bridge and turn immediately left into Stoney Street. You may wish to explore the Borough Market, which sells a range of fresh food (market open Friday afternoons and Saturdays). Otherwise, go towards the railway bridge, turn right into Winchester Walk and cross Cathedral Street to Southwark Cathedral Gardens.

Description

The cathedral gardens are on three sides of London's oldest Gothic church, completed in the 13th century after the original church burnt down. Much reduced in size from the original churchyard, the present garden was restored in 2001 and opened by Nelson Mandela, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was a curate in the Southwark diocese. The East Churchyard herb garden was constructed around the ruins of the medieval Lady Chapel, using herbs which were grown in the Apothecaries' Garden of St Thomas' Hospital, originally near the site. The South Churchyard was designed using plants with Shakespearean and biblical resonance. There are good views from the river embankment to the north. Accessible toilet available.