Fen Court, off Fenchurch Avenue EC3M 5BA
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About this garden
In a quiet passageway off Fenchurch Street this garden was once the site of the churchyard of St Gabriel Fenchurch, one of the many churches lost to the Great Fire of London in 1666. A churchyard was recorded on this site as early as 1331.
Fen Court is close to the site of St Mary Woolnoth church, where the reverend John Newton (author of the legendary freedom hymn Amazing Grace) delivered many powerful anti-slavery sermons which were inspired by the abolitionist founder William Wilberforce with whom John Newton worked.
In 2008 the site was re-landscaped with new paving, seating and planting. A public sculpture 'The Gilt of Cain' was unveiled by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to commemorate the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in 1807. The sculpture, by Michael Visocchi, consists of 17 sugar canes which rise dramatically from the ground surrounding a slave auctioneer’s pulpit. The words of Lemn Sissay’s poem 'The Gilt of Cain' wrap the sculpture. His poem cleverly combines Old Testament text with the language of the Stock Exchange.