Mount Street Gardens is a peaceful beauty spot in London Mayfair and a sheltered place with a conducive microclimate where near-tender plants flourish.
There are many cool things to do in Mayfair and among them is this little hidden gem. There are plenty of cute little quiet spots in this part of London that not many tourists visiting London add to their London itineraries.
A Little History of Mount Street Gardens In London’s Mayfair
In 1723, Sir Richard Grosvenor sold the land (on which the present Mount Street Gardens are located) to the Commission for Building Fifty New Churches.
Sir Grosvenor planned to develop the area near Mount Street as a burial ground for St. George’s, a parish church. His other plan was to build the Grosvenor Chapel on South Audley Street adjacent to the burial ground. However, the construction of this chapel was completed in 1730.
In 1725, the parish’s workhouse was constructed to the north of the burial ground. Presently, this area has the address ‘103 Mount Street.’ In those days, the workhouse allocated work to the poor to serve as their lodging and boarding. In the 1780s, the workhouse was made larger to accommodate the parish office and watchman’s watchhouse.
During the 1850s, the Parliament agreed to close the burial grounds owing to health risks. So, the parish church’s burial grounds at Mount Street and Bayswater Road were shut down and replaced by the City of Westminster Cemetery in Hanwell.
With the population of London on the rise, the workhouse became overcrowded, it was finally moved to another site by 1871. During this time there were also plans to widen Mount Street. In 1883, Hugh Grosvenor sold the land for a new workhouse at Buckingham Palace Road.
In 1886, the workhouse at Mount Street was completely brought down and replaced by some parish offices. After the workhouse was demolished, the entire region went through further redevelopment.
In 1889, the footpaths of this garden were created. By 1891, Sir Ernest George and Harold Peto designed the bronze drinking fountain of a rearing horse to be used by Henry Lofts, the local estate agent. In 2005, a major fountain section was removed to perform its restoration. Presently, the paths in the garden have benches alongside them.
The families of US citizens have donated these benches to the garden. These US citizens used to relish the gardens while residing at the US Embassy, which was located nearby, together with other US institutions. After the garden’s tool shed was razed to the ground in 1931, the City Engineer’s office prepared a copy of the inscriptions on the gravestones. This is stored in the City of Westminster Archives Center.
Currently, you can view many London plane trees in this garden. These plane trees have been planted because they can endure the heavily polluted air in central London. This garden has a warm climate and a sheltered spot.
This environment makes it easy to grow trees such as a chusan palm, Salix Matsudana Tortuosa (this is from North China and a type of twisted willow), three dawn redwood from South-East China, a Canary Islands date palm, and Australian silver wattle. Of these, the chusan palm is noted for its hardiness, which is why it is a common palm in the United Kingdom.
Many shrubs are found in the shadows of these trees, most of which are camellias, hollies, laurels, and Fatsia japonica. Several birds, such as goldcrests, blackbirds, magpies, robins, and great tits, have made this garden their habitat.
Things To Do Near Mount Street Gardens
- Shopping on Mount Street: This is a luxury shopping destination. Since 1720, it has been an original shopping street in the Mayfair neighborhood, which entices local and international fashion adherents. For more on shopping in Mayfair, see our guide.
- Connaught Patisserie: Grab tea or coffee at with some delicious desserts from Connaught Hotel’s cafe and patisserie, among Mayfair’s amazing Hotels.
- Shepards Market: This is a tiny, charming square that comprises a variety of impressive Victorian pubs, restaurants, and boutique shops.
- Mercato Mayfair: It is located on North Audley Street and has emerged as a cultural hub of genuine food served across two floors of global cuisine. It has community space, a wine cellar, and a rooftop terrace.
- Afternoon Tea: Connaught Hotel offers among the most amazing afternoon teas in London.