West Smithfield Garden (also known as West Smithfield Recreation Ground, Smithfield Rotunda Garden)9163

Greater London, England, Greater London

Brief Description

Waste ground for a time, the site was finally laid out as public gardens by the Corporation of London and opened to the public in 1872. A drinking fountain with a bronze figure representing 'Peace' was erected in 1873. Geometric sculptural seating was installed in the garden in C21st, with inscriptions relating to the history of the area.

History

The site was originally part of the 'Smoothfield' outside the City walls where jousts, executions and markets were held in the C14th and C15th. Although the gallows were moved to Tyburn in the C15th Smithfield continued to be used for executing religious martyrs and more than 200 Protestants were burnt at the stake during Queen Mary's reign. A livestock market was held here from 1638 until it transferred to Caledonian Market in Islington in 1855 and St Bartholomew's Fair was an annual event until 1855, after which the site was closed as a public meeting place.

Visitor Facilities

The site is open daily until dusk.
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

The site is open daily until dusk.

Directions

Tube: St Paul's (Central); Barbican, Farringdon (Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Circle). Bus: 8, 25, 45, 56, 63, 242
References

Contributors

  • London Parks and Gardens Trust