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Postman's Park

Postman's Park

Postman's Park
St Martin's Le-Grand
London EC1A

Opening hours

Open all year round from 8am to 7pm or dusk, whichever is earlier.

Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

Getting there

Find this garden using Google Maps 

Nearest Underground Station: St Paul's (Exit 2)

Plan your journey using the TfL journey planner.

Entrances via St Martin's Le-Grand / Aldersgate Street and King Edward Street.

Facilities

Find the nearest public toilets.

Where to park in the City of London.

About this garden

Home of The Watts Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice by George Frederick Watts built in 1900. A shady garden which provides an attractive alternative to the busy City streets with a pathway weaving through the garden from east to west. Take a seat on one of the many benches that surrounds the seasonal bedding display that features as a centrepiece to the garden.

The Friends of the Watts Memorial

The Friends were established in 2015 with the aim of protecting, preserving and promoting the Watts Memorial.

Find out more and how to join the Friends.

History

This scenic park acquired its name due to its popularity as a lunchtime garden with workers from the nearby old General Post Office. It is home to the famous Watts memorial, built in 1900 by Victorian painter and philanthropist GF Watts (1817-1904).

Watts was a radical socialist with strong sympathies towards the dreadful living conditions of the urban poor. In 1887, he wrote to the Times proposing a park commemorating 'heroic men and women' who had given their lives attempting to save others. He felt it would be a worthy way to mark Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee year. This eventually took the form of the Watts gallery in Postman's Park.

Along the walls of the gallery, Watts placed glazed Doulton tablets commemorating acts of bravery. Each one details the nature of the heroic act and the tragic tales documented on the tiles are touching. They often involve children and or concern fire, drowning or train accidents.

The garden also features an attractive sundial surrounded by bright flower beds and a gently trickling fountain. Plants of particular interest are the large banana, musa basjoo, which flowers in late summer, and the dove tree davidia involucrata.

Postman's Park came to increased public notice in 2004 with the release of the BAFTA- and Golden Globe-winning film, Closer. The film features Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Jude Law and Clive Owen, and is based on the 1997 play Closer by Patrick Marber. A key plot element in the film revolves around Postman's Park. It is revealed that the character Alice Ayres (Natalie Portman) has in fact fabricated her identity based on Ayres' tablet on the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice. She had read at the time of her first meeting with Dan Woolf (Jude Law) at the start of the film.


​Hire this garden

Available for family celebrations, receptions, film shoots and charity events.

Features

  • Capacity for 145 people
  • A public garden and former churchyard partly owned by the Church
  • Contains Grade
  • 290m2 is available for event hire (total lawn area of 583m2, total garden area 2514m2)
  • Suitable for quiet events only
  • Toilets available within the church
  • Ball games cannot be permitted

To apply

Please see our events application page.

Times available for hire

Monday to Saturday, 8am to 10pm. Can be available on Sundays dependent on restrictions.

Byelaws and Guidelines

Certain byelaws need to be followed which you will be advised of during the application process. Consideration should be given to local or nearby residents to avoid disturbance.

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Published:
10 May 2012
Last Modified:
23 September 2016

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