A ramshackle old park that looks in need of some T&C with grave stones haphazardly sinking into the ground, this is St Andrew’s Garden in Camden.
As it’s name suggests, it’s a former burial ground, in this case for St Andrew Holborn, which is a fair distance away, but lacked space for its own burial grounds, so the dead were transported here instead.
Opened in 1754, it closed to burials less than a century later in 1850, and was quickly opened up as a public park just a few years later.
Rather oddly, although it’s a burial ground for a church in Holborn, sitting right next to it used to be Holy Trinity Church, a rather grand affair built in 1837.
That church didn’t last long though, and was closed in 1928 and demolished a few years later. What stands on the plot of land now overlooking the park is a marvelous 9-floor art-deco block of flats, Trinity Court.
It was built in 1934-35 using a steel frame construction, and clad in white-painted render, with a distinctive blue colour to its window frames and railings.
If you’re lucky, pop around to the front of the building, Trinity Court, and see if the front doors are open — for inside they still have an old gate-shutter lift, which was being repaired on my visit.
Unsurprisingly, the building (and the lift), appears in a number of heritage films.
Back to the gardens, they’re laid out as two rectangular lawns bisected by a central path with mature London planes and an ancient weeping ash.
Grave stones run along the edges, and a few larger memorials lay around the park leaning over at random angles and looking as drunk as some of the people sleeping in the park in the afternoon.
It’s a pleasant enough cut-though if in the area, but hardly a park to make a visit for — unlike the building that overlooks it.
Location map and local interesting places
- 9] Gwynne Place
- 10] Emerald Court
- 11] Fernsbury Street Alley
- 12] Colonnade
- 13] Herbal Hill
- 14] Cosmo Place
- 15] Three Cups Yard