Oasis in the noise..

This post is dedicated to Laura Lynn as an extra pair of eyes for her to see the more hidden parts of London, until she can come and visit again x

There is a nearly secret garden literally buried deep in the heart of the City, almost under the far reaching shadows of St. Pauls Cathedral.

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It’a called the Postman’s Park and was once the graveyards of St. Leonards Foster Lane St Botolph Aldersgate and Christ Church Newgate.  Which sounds huge, but it’s only a little place with a rich atmosphere of peace and tranquility.  Ordinary yet quietly extraordinary.

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IMG_2011Through the gates and past the pond  is a memorial created by George Fredrick Watts, a painter and social radical.  In 1887 he had the idea to commemorate ‘heroic men and women’ for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee year.  No-one else felt it was a particularly good idea so he financed it himself.

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Set into the wall are over fifty plaques catching frozen moments in time, each bringing a spotlight to the pendulum swings of fate and lifes’ vulnerabilities.  Every plaque commemorates a selfless act of bravery and with simple words to make you bleed they open up a theatre in the mind as you picture the stories and comprehend the consequences.

IMG_1990 IMG_1991 IMG_2002IMG_1998 IMG_1997 IMG_1996 IMG_1995 IMG_1994 IMG_1993IMG_1995IMG_1997 IMG_1998IMG_2001IMG_2003 IMG_2004 IMG_2005 IMG_2006IMG_2007 IMG_2008 IMG_2009 It is a small place, a poignant place where history lives on.

Laters, Kate x

19 comments

  1. itwasjudith

    wow! i was reading about those memorial while ago, but didn’t realise it was in the centre of London…. thanks for sharing and the beautiful pictures, it is heart warming to see such a monument

  2. tingtingstyling

    I’ll have to check out this park. I remember seeing an art exhibition at Tate Britain by Susan Hiller, who did a piece about those people who scarified their life for those. In a society where we are so inner focused on our smart phones, games and ipods, it is inspirational and a reminder that a life is more worthwhile doing service to those in need.

  3. michelenel

    Hi and thank you so much for your visit today. I love this place! I can’t believe I have followed a link to your blog and re-discovered it after so many years. We live in Lancashire and our eldest daughter arranged a walking tour around London many years ago and it took us here as well. She got the book out of the library on hidden walks around London I think it was called and it was amazing where it took you. A little gem; thank you for the reminder 🙂

    • MasonBentley

      Did you follow the walk in a book or join one of the walking tours?? Pre-children the husband and I often went on walks of a weekend..made you realise a) how little history you really knew and b) How little you knew your city! xxx

      • michelenel

        We went on a self guided tour out of the book. If you can find it, it is amazing! I know what you mean about BC because we have 3 all grown up and 5 grandchildren that keep us super busy. The great thing about these self tours is that you can go at your own pace with the children and stop as often as you like which really is better than a guided tour. Learning our history and passing it to our children is so important and this way can be fun at the same time. Take care. Michele

      • MasonBentley

        We used to use a fabulous book called 52 (I think!) walks from railway stations from London by time out…most of them were circular walks with a stop at a pub for lunch..but I think I need to search for your book!! X

  4. LAMYA

    These images remind me of New Orleans. I love your blog by the way. Very, very cool.

  5. Laura Lynn

    Kate, Love to you and thank you for the dedication. This is exactly my favorite kind of park. Small and hidden and quiet and green. You are quite an excellent photographer and this post is beautiful and heartwarming.
    I think when you are caught in the moment one doesn’t think about danger to oneself. There is the moment when you realize how fragile life is. These sacrifices made so long ago are just as poignant today.

    • MasonBentley

      It was a pleasure. Had a feeling it would appeal..have another idea up my sleeve for another ‘historical’ post that even I didn’t know about until I did, so to speak. Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the best. xxx