A short walk from the Barbican is a small perfectly formed little garden created in memory of Basil Hume, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster from 1979 until his death in 1999.

The garden sits on former bombsite land that was later used as a car park, and is next to St. Joseph’s Church, which has been on this site since around 1850, although the current church building dates to 1901.

The garden was created in 2002, just a few years after Basil Hume’s death, by Father Bruno Healy, together with landscape gardener Simon Peter Stobart with some Japanese-design influence.

The garden is a small space, hence a pocket park, but they’ve managed to pack a lot into such a small corner of the plot. A covered seating area in the middle with seating. What looks like a canal running around it had dried up on my visit, but presumably adds watery sounds when it’s working.

Several small spaces are carved out of the overgrowth around the edges and the overall effect is of a concealed glade within a wood – even though you’re surrounded by roads and offices.

It’s a delightful little hidden patch to stumble upon.

Rather depressingly, signs aplenty in the garden ask people to stop using it as a public toilet.

The garden is on Lamb’s Passage and is open daily from Easter until end of October.

Nearest railway stations

  1. Old Street
  2. Moorgate
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