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Cleary Garden

cleary

Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 2AR

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

Nearest tube: Mansion House

Find this garden using Google Maps.

Plan your journey using TfL journey planner.

Facilities

About this garden

Separated into three tiers, the garden’s wooden arbours, shaded seats and large lawn (which covers the site of a Roman bathhouse) make it the ideal spot for a time-out.

City Gardener Nicholas Martin, gives an insightful audiotour about the vines, flowers, shrubs and wildlife on this tranquil, multi-levelled garden.

History

During the Middle Ages the area was the hub of the wine trade, a tradition evoked by sensory flowers, shrubs and climbers, suggesting bouquets of wines, and a miniature vineyard on the terrace.

The garden is named after Fred Cleary, who, during the 1970's was instrumental in encouraging the planting of trees and the creation of new gardens throughout the square mile. During the blitz, the house which once stood here was destroyed exposing the cellars. A shoemaker called Joe Brandis decided that he would create a garden from the rubble, collecting mud from the river banks and transporting soil from his own garden in Walthamstow to the site. His success was such that on 29th July 1949 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother visited the new garden.

Next to the pergola is a bed of Yatsuka Tree peonies, presented to the City by the Japanese Island of Daikonjima as a symbol of goodwill in April 2006.

Biodiversity

The garden is designated a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation. House sparrows and blue tits nest in the buddleia which has colonised the walled off enclosure on the upper level, and greenfinches, robins, blackbirds and dunnocks are frequently spotted in the garden.  Keep an eye out for wisteria, grape-vines and roses on the pergola, the insect hotel at the bottom of the garden, and trailing bellflower, creeping buttercup and thyme-leaved speedwell on the Roman remains.


Events and green space hire

Find out how to host your event or hire a space at Cleary Garden.

Guidelines for filming and photography

Anyone wishing to use Cleary Garden for filming or photoshoots should seek permission first and pay the appropriate fee. Individuals are welcome to take photographs for their own use.

Please see the Filming in the City pages for more information, and apply directly with Film App.
For wedding and lifestyle photography please see the events and green space hire page.

Published:
10 May 2012
Last Modified:
05 October 2018

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