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St Dunstan in the East

St Dunstans in the East

Ornamental vines, exotic plants, cobbled paths and bright flowers make this garden set in the ruins of a Wren church a truly spectacular site.

Visitor Information

St Dunstan's Hill, off Lower Thames Street

London EC3R 8DX

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Travel

Tube: Monument, Tower Hill

Buses: 15, 42, 78, 100, RV1, N15

Opening Hours

7 days a week throughout the year 8am – 7pm or dusk – whichever is earlier

Hear the garden's history come alive

A stone’s throw away from the Monument and ‘Walkie Talkie’, listen to Niall Birnie, one of the City Gardeners, as he guides you around the ornamental this space, with its vines, exotic plants and cobbled paths, set in the ruins of a Wren church. This is one of the audiotours of the City Gardens audiotours.

Guidelines for filming, recording and photography

City Gardens welcomes filming in the parks that is consistent with the following aims:

  • Promoting our parks as special natural en​vironments and historical landscapes
  • Respecting the values of our parks, and other users
  • Raising the profile of the City of London and our parks as a tourist destination

We will assess all filming requests according to these aims along with existing scheduled events, planned maintenance work, potential security risks, ceremonial activities and political sensitivities.

Private individuals are welcome to take photographs for their own use. A fee is payable for wedding photography.

Anyone wishing to use the park as a film location or for commercial photography should seek permission first and pay the appropriate fee.

Contact the City Gardens Team for more information.

History

The Church of St Dunstan was originally built around 1100 and is a Grade I listed building. A new south aisle was added in 1391 and was repaired in 1631. It was severely damaged in 1666 by the Great Fire of London. Rather than being completely built it was patched up. A steeple and tower was added in 1695-1701 by Sir Christopher Wren.

The Church was again severely damaged in the Blitz of 1941. Wren’s tower and steeple survived the bombing. During the re-organisation of the Anglican Church after World war II it was decided not to rebuild St. Dunstan’s.

In 1967 the City of London decided to turn the remains into a public garden, which opened in 1970.

You really will feel secluded in this gem of a City Garden. Those with green fingers will appreciate the range of plants wending their way around the ruins: the walls and majestic windows have been draped and decorated over time with virginia creeper and ornamental vine, vitis coignetiae, which turns crimson in the autumn. Exotic plants such as the pineapple-scented Moroccan broom, cytisus battandieri, and the new zealand flax, phormium both thrive here in the sheltered conditions. An unusual plant in the lower garden is winter's bark, drimy winteri. Its leaves are high in Vitamin C and were once eaten to prevent scurvy. Near to the fountain is a japanese snowball, viburnum plicatum, whose blossom in late spring is breath-taking.

Biodiversity

A beautiful tucked away green space of high ecological value with climbers adorning the historic walls and wildlife including robins and great tits are among the regular visitors to the site. Look out for the winning Insect Hotel built within the garden as part of the 2010 Beyond the Hive competition.​​

Published:
10 May 2012
Last Modified:
07 May 2014

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