Inventory Site Record

Jubilee Gardens (Lambeth)

Brief Description

This was the site of the Dome of Discovery in the 1951 Festival of Britain. The Jubilee Gardens were created in 1976 and opened by Queen Elizabeth II for her Silver Jubilee in 1977. In the 1990s they were partially closed for 5 years while the Jubilee Line extension was being built and were subsequently re-turfed as a temporary measure prior to permanent re-landscaping. A sculpture by Ian Walters of 1985 commemorating the International Brigade was installed and the erection of the London Eye brought heavy footfall to the gardens, which have now been re-landscaped to designs of West 8. Jubilee Gardens re-opened on 31 May 2012 to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Practical Information
Site location:
Albert Embankment Road
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Park
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
various facilities connected with County Hall and London Eye adjacent
Public transport:
Rail/Tube: Waterloo (Northern, Waterloo and City, Jubilee, Bakerloo). Bus: 1, 4, 59, 68, 76, 159
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

The site of Jubilee Gardens is former backland; it was the site of the Dome of Discovery, the main exhibition feature of the 1951 Festival of Britain. The Jubilee Gardens were created in 1976, designed by Neville Conder and Stuart Taylor, and were opened by Queen Elizabeth II in the year of her Silver Jubilee in 1977. In 1987, following the demise of the GLC, ownership of the park and the adjacent County Hall passed to the London Residual Body, which sold County Hall to the Shiryama Corporation with covenants over areas of the park.

The gardens were partially closed for 5 years in the 1990s while the Jubilee Line extension was being built and were re-turfed as a temporary measure prior to permanent new landscaping. In 1994 the freehold of Jubilee Gardens and Hungerford Car Park passed to the Arts Council of England and the land was then transferred to the South Bank Centre on a long lease. The erection of the London Eye in 1999 greatly increased the public usage of the site, which at that time was largely grassed with paths across it and some shrub planting, while future landscaping was still under consideration. Jubilee Park Steering Group, bringing together local stakeholders together with the South Bank Centre and CABE, then launched a design competition in order to transform Jubilee Gardens. Although in 1999 Dutch landscape architect Adriaan Geuze had been commissioned to redesign the park (South Bank News, winter 1999), this initial scheme did not go ahead. In June 2005 landscape designers West 8, of which Geuze is a partner, were selected as the winning design team for the new park and contractors Frost Landscape Construction Ltd were appointed to carry out the work.

Jubilee Gardens were officially completed on 31 May 2012 and re-opened in the presence of Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, and in time for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. Features of the new gardens include flowerbeds planted with geraniums, granite paths and seating, lighting columns and a new playground that has a ‘timber tangle’, ‘jungle arena’, ‘spider web’ and a flock of wooden sheep. 69 mature trees have been planted, with species including English and pin oak, common beech, red beech, sweet gum, bald cypress and small-leaved lime.

Sources consulted:

Ian Yarham, Michael Waite, Andrew Simpson, Niall Machin, 'Nature Conservation in Lambeth', Ecology Handbook 26 (London Ecology Unit), 1994; South Bank News, winter 1999

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ307799 (530750,179950)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Arts Council of England leased to Jubilee Gardens Trust
Site management:
Jubilee Gardens Trust
Neville Conder/Stuart Taylor (1976); Adriaan Geuze (1999-2012)
Listed structures:
LBII*: County Hall
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 Bank
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Metropolitan (Thames)
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Yes - Thames Policy Area
Other LA designation:
Park Regeneration Area

Jubilee Gardens

Jubilee Gardens - Photo: Colin Wing
Date taken: 04/06/12 11:49

Click a photo to enlarge.

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