Inventory Site Record

Mark Street Garden (Hackney)

Brief Description

Mark Street Garden was laid out alongside St Michael's Church, now closed, which was built in 1863-5, adjacent to which is the former Hospital of St Mary at the Cross. Founded in 1866, the convent moved to Edgware in 1931. The small public garden to the south is built over part of the former cloister and consists of a series of small spaces with areas of lawn, shrubberies and flower beds, a pergola and two stone monuments, one of these a memorial to Sidney Smith (d.1870).

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
St Michael's Church; Hospital of St Mary at the Cross
Site location:
Mark Street/Mark Square
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
no ball games
Public transport:
Rail/Tube: Old Street (Northern); Bus: 55, 76, 141, 271
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.hackney.gov.uk

Full Site Description

St Michael's Church is a large, handsome stock brick church with red brick and stone bands, built in 1863-1865 and the first church by James Brooks in this area. It was built at the instigation of the Haggerston Church Scheme that was begun by the vicar of Shoreditch with the support of, among others, Robert Brett of Newington Green (q.v.). Adjacent to the church is the remains of the cloister and hospital of St Mary at the Cross Convent, an Anglican Benedictine Community of Sisters of the Poor founded in Shoreditch in 1866 where it purchased a site in 1873 and built a convent. The convent building was begun by James Brooks but completed by J D Sedding in Franco-Flemish style. The Convent closed in 1931, and the Sisters moved to Edgware. Furnishings from the convent chapel were moved to Edgware. The Clergy House dates from 1870, also by James Brook, now used as offices. When the church of St James Curtain Road was demolished in 1935 its parish united with that of St Michael Mark Street, which itself closed in 1964, the parish becoming part of the parish of St Leonard's (q.v.). The church is now used by Lassco, an architectural salvage company, and houses an extraordinary collection of artefacts. Behind the church is a sunken garden area with a central bed, surrounded by gravel, with seating and raised beds.

Mark Street Garden was laid out alongside St Michael's Church from which it is separated by a wide flagstone path. The garden consists of a series of small spaces with winding earth paths providing areas of lawn, shrubberies and flower beds, including aromatic plants, and a pergola in the centre of which is a stone monument. A second stone obelisk is surrounded by seating and is a memorial to Sidney Smith with the inscription 'in affectionate Memory of Sidney Smith, died 1870'.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ330823 (533070,182330)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Hackney
Site management:
Hackney Parks Service
church: 1863-65; garden: c.1984
Listed structures:
LBI: St Michael's Church. LBII*: Clergy House to west of church
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:
Conservation Area name:
South Shoreditch
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Yes - Area of Architectural Priority
Other LA designation:
Open Space

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