Ornamental vines, exotic plants, cobbled paths and bright flowers make this garden set in the ruins of a Wren church a truly spectacular site.
The Church of St Dunstan was originally built around 1100 and is a Grade I listed building. A new south aisle was added in 1391 and was repaired in 1631. It was severely damaged in 1666 by the Great Fire of London. Rather than being completely built it was patched up. A steeple and tower was added in 1695-1701 by Sir Christopher Wren.
The Church was again severely damaged in the Blitz of 1941. Wren’s tower and steeple survived the bombing. During the re-organisation of the Anglican Church after World war II it was decided not to rebuild St. Dunstan’s.
In 1967 the City of London decided to turn the remains into a public garden, which opened in 1970.
You really will feel secluded in this gem of a City Garden. Those with green fingers will appreciate the range of plants wending their way around the ruins: the walls and majestic windows have been draped and decorated over time with virginia creeper and ornamental vine, vitis coignetiae, which turns crimson in the autumn. Exotic plants such as the pineapple-scented Moroccan broom, cytisus battandieri, and the new zealand flax, phormium both thrive here in the sheltered conditions. An unusual plant in the lower garden is winter’s bark, drimy winteri. Its leaves are high in Vitamin C and were once eaten to prevent scurvy. Near to the fountain is a japanese snowball, viburnum plicatum, whose blossom in late spring is breath-taking.