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Cleary Garden


Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4

Opening hours

Please note there is currently restricted access to some of the areas of Cleary Garden including limited access to the lawn area on the lower tier due to adjacent building works.

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

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Plan your journey using TfL journey planner.


Find the nearest public toilets.

Where to park in the City of London.

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.


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.


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.

​Hire this green space

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

Garden features

  • Quiet garden divided into secluded seating areas shaded by vines, including remains of Roman baths
  • Scheduled Ancient Monument status
  • Capacity for 45 people
  • Total area of 771m2
  • Lawn area of 180m2, of which 90 is available for event hire
  • No toilet facilities

To apply

Please see our events application page.

Available times

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


Consideration will need to be given to adjacent businesses to avoid disturbance.

10 May 2012
Last Modified:
29 September 2017