London Wall Place (formerly St Alphage Garden and St Alphage Extension Garden) (City of London)
This and the Barbican were the worst bombed areas in the City in WW II and as a result were substantially rebuilt post-war for both commercial and residential use. This was part of a scheme drawn up in 1954/5 by the Corporation of London and LCC to create a new business district around the London Wall area. There was provision for gardens and open spaces, and fragments of the old Roman City walls and older buildings also remained amidst the new architecture. This included the ruined tower of St Alphage Church, on the site of the C14th priory church of Elsing Spital. To the north, the former churchyard of St Alphage had already been made into a small public garden by 1872. The garden is bounded to the north by a high section of the old Roman Wall and to the west of the main garden is an extension with a lower paved area. These gardens together with the restored tower were re-landscaped and incorporated into London Wall Place, a commercial scheme by Brookfield, with Make architects.
- Site location:
- London Wall
- EC2Y 5EL
- What 3 Words:
- Type of site:
- Public Gardens
- City of London
- Open to public?
- Opening times:
- Special conditions:
- Public transport:
- Tube: Moorgate (Hammersmith & City, Circle, Northern, Metropolitan). Rail: Moorgate
- Research updated:
- Last minor changes:
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/openspaces
Full Site Description
This and the Barbican were the worst bombed areas in the City in World War II. As a result it was substantially rebuilt post-war for both commercial and residential use. In 1951 the then Minister of Housing and Local Government proposed that part should be developed as a residential neighbourhood, which led to the building of the Barbican Estate (q.v.). In 1954-5 plans were drawn up by the Corporation of London and LCC to create a new business district around the London Wall area, a plan covering some 28 acres. The final scheme combined alignment of a new main road, London Wall, and an integrated sequence of office blocks, with an upper pedestrian walkway that connected with the Barbican and crossed London Wall. Provision was made for gardens and open spaces, remains of the old Roman City walls were exposed in places, and among the new architecture, older buildings including a number of historic livery halls, could also be found.
St Alphage is on the site of the priory church of Elsing Spital, a hospital for the blind founded by William Elsing in 1329/1331which became a priory in 1340 when it was taken over by Augustinian Canons. The priory church was dedicated to St Mary and when the priory was dissolved in the C16th, the church was repaired with the materials of the parish church of St Alphage nearby, which had fallen or been taken down by 1540, and was not able to be re-erected. St Mary's thereby became the parish church of St Alphage; the priory buildings were used as private housing until destroyed in a fire in 1541. St Alphage's churchyard was in existence by 1414. The church became dilapidated during the time of Cromwell and was rebuilt in 1775-7 by William Hillyer but retaining the C14th tower; some monuments from the old church were reinstated including a monument to Sir Rowland Hayward, twice Lord Mayor and benefactor of the church, buried here in 1593. The new church had two fronts, one onto Aldermanbury, the other onto London Wall but it was demolished in 1923 and the parish united with that of St Mary Aldermanbury. The remains of the C14th tower of St Alphage suffered bomb damage but has been preserved and can be seen from the elevated pedestrian walk along London Wall.
To the north, the former churchyard of St Alphage had already been made into a small public garden by 1872. The churchyard was bounded to the north by a high section of the old Roman London Wall and a plaque set into this records that the churchyard was closed by Act of Parliament and laid out as a garden in 1872. Along the wall are seats and a raised flower bed, and on the other side the wall forms the boundary wall of the adjacent Salters' Garden (q.v.). Landscaping in St Alphage Garden consists of two grassed areas with a magnolia tree in one part and an oak tree in the other, separated from the roadway by a beech hedge. To the west of the main garden is an extension, a lower paved area with further seats and square wooden planters with bedding displays and a sloping bed alongside the path, with a gate looking into Salters' Garden.
The public gardens and the previously inaccessible ruined Tower, were re-landscaped as part of the London Wall Place development by Brookfield Properties, completed 2018/19. The scheme was designed by Make architects: 'A series of pocket parks form the new terraced gardens, which are set among the restored remains of the Roman city wall and medieval St Alphage church tower. The ‘highwalks’ of the 1960s, meanwhile, have been reimagined as 350m of gently curving Corten bridges through and beyond the site. Together with the adjacent Salters’ Hall Garden and St Alphage Garden, the area will deliver over 780m² of green walls and more than 1.5 acres of public realm.' (Make website). Since 2011 London Wall Place has won numerous architectural awards, including Highly Commended - Public Spaces, in the New London Awards 2019.
B Plummer and D Shewan, 'City Gardens', London, 1992; F E Cleary, 'The Flowering City', The City Press, 1969; Simon Bradley & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 1: The City of London', 1997 (1999 ed.); George Godwin & John Britton 'The Churches of London: A history and description of the Ecclesiastical Edifices of the Metropolis, Volume II', London, 1839; London Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches data. For information on London Wall Place see https://www.makearchitects.com/projects/london-wall-place/
Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
- Grid ref:
- TQ324816 (532440,181620)
- Size in hectares:
- Site ownership:
- Diocese of London (former churchyard); City of London Corporation (extension)
- Site management:
- City of London Corporation Open Spaces Dept.
- C14th; 1872; 2018/9
- Listed structures:
- LBII: C14th tower of former St Alphage Church. SAM: section of London Wall along boundry of former churchyard
- On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:
- Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
- Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
Local Authority Data
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
- On Local List:
- In Conservation Area:
- Tree Preservation Order:
- Nature Conservation Area:
- Green Belt:
- Metropolitan Open Land:
- Special Policy Area:
- Other LA designation:
- City Walkway Network
St Alphage Garden and fragment of Roman Wall, October 2002. Photo: S Williams
Click a photo to enlarge.
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