St. Paul’s Church benefits from some beautiful grounds surrounding the church. They are the last gardens in Covent Garden! They are, of course, the former burial grounds of the church, which were closed to burial, by Act of Parliament, in 1852. At that point, the headstones were removed and the grounds laid out as gardens.
In recent years, we have restored the whole area and added new features. For example, on the North Side, there is a spectacular new sculpture, ‘The Conversion of St. Paul’. This was gifted to the church by the sculptor, Bruce Dennis, and was unveiled by Dame Judi Dench DBE in 2015.
On the South Side, there is the ‘Diamond Jubilee Garden’, created to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of HM The Queen. It was opened by HRH, The Duchess of Gloucester, on behalf of Her Majesty, on 25 September 2013. It features a giant maze (do have a go at solving it), in the centre of which is a reproduction of Her Majesty’s image, as seen on the 1953 (old) One Penny Piece.
Throughout the whole area you will find many benches gifted in memory of members of the theatre profession and others.
Do feel free to relax, but do, please, respect the sacred nature of these grounds at all times.
Is it possible to hire the gardens?
Yes. The grounds are available to hire for certain sorts of events. Please contact the office for details.
Is it possible to be buried in the grounds?
No, the burial ground were legally closed in the 19th Century and burials are no longer permitted.
Is it possible to purchase a memorial bench?
Unfortunately, our garden is now full and we cannot accept any more benches. Please contact the office to consider other ways of remembering loved ones.
Can I donate shrubs or roses in memoriam?
This is sometimes possible. However, please discuss what is suitable with us in advance, and please bear in mind that no plaque or marker can be placed in the garden.
Can I see where the graves of famous people are?
No. When the churchyard was closed, all headstones were removed and there is now no record of where people were buried. We DO have lists of all those who were buried here up until 1852.
Can I help with upkeep?
Yes, very much so. Our chief gardener, Carol, welcomes assistance from novice and experienced gardeners alike. Please contact the office in the first instance. Alternatively, if you wish to make a financial contribution, there are collecting boxes just inside the church.