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Brief description of site

These mid-19th-century public gardens occupy a series of three sites curving round a loop on the north side of the River Thames between Blackfriars Bridge to the east and Westminster Bridge to the south. Features include lawns and floral beds, with many statues. Concerts are held during the summer.

Brief history of site

The idea of the formation of a continuous embankment on the north shore of the Thames appears to have originated with Sir Christopher Wren. When the Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) was set up in 1855, London at last had an agency capable of carrying out major improvements. The Embankment was laid out in the style of a Parisian Quay with a wide avenue of planes, landing places and piers built into the riverside, and broad pavements either side of the roadway. Designs for the gardens were submitted by the landscape architect Alexander McKenzie and approved by the MBW in February 1870. The gardens were opened by W H Smith, MP, on Saturday 8 May 1875.

Location information:

Address: Victoria Embankment Gardens, Villiers Street, Charing Cross, London, WC2N 6NA

Locality: Inner London

Local Authorities:

Greater London; Westminster

Historical County: Middlesex

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 176 Grid Ref: TQ304804
Latitude: 51.5075 Longitude: -0.122446


Rail: Charing Cross. Tube: Embankment (District, Circle, Northern, Bakerloo); Temple (District, Circle). Bus: 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 77a, 91, 139, 176

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

This is a municipal site, open daily from 7.30 am to dusk.

Key information:

Form of site: public park

Purpose of site: ornamental garden

Context or principal building: parks, gardens and urban spaces

Site first created: 1870 to 1875

Main period of development: Mid 19th century

Survival: Extant

Site Size (Hectares): 4.45

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