Welcome to Paddington Street Gardens South
This leafy and popular park, set behind Marylebone High Street, is a closed churchyard and still contains various old memorials.
It is significantly larger than the nearby North side of Paddington Street Gardens. It consists of formal open grass areas, traditional shrub, rose and bedding displays, mature London plane trees, a shelter and a children’s playground. Public toilets also serve the site from Paddington Street. In the summer months events including open air concerts are sometimes held within this site.
Paddington Street Gardens were formed during the 18th century as an additional burial ground for the old St Marylebone Parish Church. The land on the south side of Paddington Street (established in the 1760s), was donated to the parish by Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford, in 1730 and consecrated as a burial ground in 1733. By 1771 additional space for graves was required and the parish bought the piece of land on the north side of the street from Mr. Henry Portman.
One of the conditions of the grant of 1730 was that a workhouse for the poor of the parish should be built and this was done in 1750-52. A larger workhouse was built in 1775 just to the north of these gardens on the present site of the University of Westminster and the old workhouse which was in the southern burial ground was then used as the parish infirmary until 1791. The infirmary was replaced in 1792 by a larger building which stood beside the new workhouse.
When the St John's Wood burial ground opened in 1814, this one was officially closed although it was sometimes used for burials after this date and there are probably around 80,000 graves here. The gardens are still consecrated ground. An index of the names on tombstones in this burial ground transcribed at various dates from the 1833 to 1979 can be found in the Westminster City archives.
In 1885 the gardens became a recreational ground which was officially opened by HRH Princess Louise on 6 July 1886. Most of the tombstones have been removed but the mausoleum in the south garden that was erected by the Hon Richard Fitzpatrick to the memory of his wife Susanna who died in 1759 aged 30 remains due to its notable design.
There is a statue of an Orderly boy by Donato Baraglia of Milan (1849-1930) which was placed in the gardens in 1943. The principal species of tree within the gardens is the London Plane, this species was planted widely in Victorian London as it thrived in a polluted atmosphere. There are also many other species of trees to be found within the gardens including cherries, laburnum and hawthorns.
Opening hours: 7am – dusk. Play area Disabled access Toilets, including disabled, accessible from Paddington Street
If you would like to hold an event or film in this park please visit the Special Events website at www.westminster.gov.uk/specialevents or call 020 7641 2390.