Inventory Site Record

Globe Road Open Space

Globe Road Open Space (Tower Hamlets)

Brief Description

Globe Road Open Space is a remnant of the former graveyard of Globe Road Wesleyan Chapel. The site was acquired by the Craft School, which occupied the neighbouring building, and it was laid out as a memorial garden in 1926, many of its features the work of craftsmen. Today the small oblong ground has York stone paving, rose beds to the south and a dense evergreen screen to the north. C19th railings remain on the north and west and the entrance gate overthrow has a bronze plaque depicting 'The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green'. There are a number of headstones and a central chest tomb to 'Master George Henry Spooner...who died 27 June 1822 aged 8 months'.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Globe Road Memorial Gardens; Mile End Cemetery; Craft School Memorial Garden
Site location:
Globe Road/Portman Place, Stepney
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Tower Hamlets
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Stepney Green (District)/Bethnal Green (Central)

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/07/2009
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

Globe Road Wesleyan Chapel, now demolished, was erected in the early C19th. Its burial ground was formerly known as Mile End Cemetery and was used for some 14,000 burials. Part of the ground was encroached when the Great Eastern Railway line was constructed in the mid-C19th. The Crafts School was established in 1890 and was run until 1915 when it was closed as a direct consequence of financial stresses following WWI. The school's first home was in Whitechapel before it moved to Globe Road, in a neighbouring building to the former graveyard. It remained here from 1895 to 1907, and then moved to Stepney Green. The garden was created to ‘perpetuate the memory of its work, and of the ideals of beauty and hand craftsmanship for which it stood, by some fitting local memorial, which should at the same time be of practical service to a poor and crowded neighbourhood’. The School acquired the small, disused and neglected burial ground by raising funds from among the friends of the Craft School and Bethnal Green Borough Council accepted the transfer and the responsibility for maintaining it as an open space.

The design of Globe Road Memorial Gardens was carried out and supervised by Mr F W Troup, adviser and governor of the Craft School. The entrance gate and boundary railings, some of which remain along Globe Road were created by a former blacksmith who had taught at the School and featured the Rose and Ring emblem (still visible), recalling the ‘Rose and Ring Club, the original germ from which the Craft School grew’. The bronze plaque on the outside face of the gate shows The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (1925), and an inscribed plaque inside is the work of two craftswomen who had trained at Central School of Arts and Crafts. Two oak seats were the work of another craftsman, and six benches were donated by the MPGA. A copper weather vane surmounted by a globe was set on a flagpole and was reminiscent of the East India Company ship, The Globe, which voyaged in the early C17th. A copper flower bowl was placed on the central mausoleum and an oak-framed map showing East London in the reign of Queen Anne that was taken from Gascoyne’s map of 1703. Flagstones were donated by Bank of England. Trees planted were thorny acacia, flowering cherry, prunus and golden privet; and shrubs planted were box, flowering currant, golden privet, veronica and snowberry. The cost of laying out the garden was £600 excluding gifts. The garden was officially opened on 10 July 1926.

Sources consulted:

Bacon, Ordnance Atlas; The Craft School, booklet produced to commemorate opening on 10/7/1926 presented to Bethnal Green Borough Council. Bancroft Library, Clippings.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Tower Hamlets
Site management:
Leisure Services, Parks and Open Spaces
1820; 1926
Listed structures:
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:

Globe Road Open Space

Globe Road Open Space, July 2009. Photo: S Williams

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