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St Andrew's Gardens Camden

Summary

Formerly a burial ground for St Andrew's Holborn that closed for burials in 1850, the site was converted into public gardens in 1885 when St Pancras Borough Council acquired it along with a strip of land at the southern edge. St Andrew's Gardens are laid out as two rectangular lawns bisected by a central path with mature London planes and an ancient weeping ash. Many of the headstones were resited near the northern entrance but a few C18th chest tombs remain in situ in the gardens. A granite drinking fountain and a small red brick lodge date from the C19th.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
St Andrew's Holborn Burial Ground

Site location:
Gray's Inn Road/Wren Street

Postcode:
WC1

Type of site:
Public Gardens

Date(s):
1754; 1885

Designer(s):

Listed structures:
LBII: St Andrew's Gardens entrance gates, section of south side railings & monuments; Nos.2-9 Wren Street (Consecutive) and attached railings; Nos.11-20 Wren Street (Consecutive) and attached railings.

Borough:
Camden

Site ownership:
private

Site management:
LB Camden Parks & Open Spaces. Friends of St Andrew's Gardens

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
locked at dusk

Special conditions:

Facilities:

Events:

Public transport:
Tube: Chancery Lane (Central), King's Cross (Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Circle). Bus: 46

Citymapper
Citymapper

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2009
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.camden.gov.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ307824

Size in hectares:
0.6612

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

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:
Yes

In Conservation Area:
Yes

Conservation Area name:
Bloomsbury

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Local Importance

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
Yes - Area of Special Character: Central London Area

Other LA designation:
Private Open Space

St Andrew's Gardens

St Andrew's Gardens, June 2009. Photo: S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

Fuller information

The land was consecrated in 1754 as a new burial ground serving St Andrew's, Holborn (q.v.) when the parish churchyard was full. It closed for burials in 1850 and reopened as a public garden in 1885 when the St Pancras Borough Council acquired the site for £1,298, provided by the LCC. A 10 ft. wide strip of land along the southern edge used as a builder's yard was purchased from Earl Calthorpe for £800 and added. It is now laid out as two rectangular strips of grass bisected by a central path with mature London planes and an ancient weeping ash, flower beds andshrub, rose beds to the north. Many of the headstones have been resited near the northern entrance where a plaque commemorates the opening of the public garden by Lady Manners on 29 July 1885. A few C18th tomb chests remain in situ, flanking the path mostly with weathered inscriptions, but one is dated 1763. A granite drinking fountain presented by Miss Emily Bessie Orbell is also situated in the gardens and just within the entrance gate on Gray's Inn Road is a small, two-storey red brick lodge dating from the C19th; the gardens are overlooked on one side by the C19th terrace of Wren Street, Nos. 2-9 built 1824-30 and Nos.11-20 built c1840-50.

The rectangular site is surrounded by C19th cast iron railings and there are three entrances dating from c1885 when the gardens were laid out, two onto Gray's Inn Road and a third on Wren Street, each with gate piers and a pair of ornamental wrought-iron gates, one with an ornate overthrow. It is overlooked to the north by Trinity Court, a striking modernist block of c.1930 with white and blue railings, on the site of Holy Trinity Church of 1837 which closed in 1928. Large new shrub beds have been planted recently where derelict buildings once stood.

Sources consulted:

W E Brown, 'St Pancras Open Spaces and Disused Burial Grounds', Camden Town, 1911; Roger Bowdler, EH London Region note on St Andrew's Gardens, 1993

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