Tuesday 28 March 2023

Green London: Blossom amid Skyscrapers & Churches

The City of London is more famous for its buildings than places where grass, flowers and trees grow, but it has some green spaces - or perhaps more pink spaces at the moment. The pictures top and middle show cherry trees in blossom at Aldgate Square and I took them on Saturday morning on my way to an event. 

On one side are towering modern office blocks and on the other the church of St Botolph-without-Aldgate. The square also has a central lawn and raised plant beds. There are places to sit, a water feature and a drinking water fountain. It was redesigned in 2018 to be a more pleasant place to spend some time. Historically, the name Aldgate relates to this being the site of one of the gates into the walled city of London, but it was removed in the 18th century. Botolph is the patron saint of boundaries and of trade. Four medieval London churches were dedicated to him. The one at Aldgate is thought to be the oldest.

There are also gardens close by at St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate, which historically stood by another gate into the city - Bishop's Gate. You can see the church and part of its green space in the photo below, which I took on Sunday evening on my way home. 

For those with an interest in the paranormal, St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate is location of a famous strange incident. Photographer Chris Brackley was taking some snaps inside the church in 1982, accompanied only by his wife and one other person. When he developed the film, the ghostly image of a woman could be seen on the print. A builder who had found old coffins while doing some work on the church, said the woman in the photo resembled that of a well-preserved corpse in one of them. 

This is one of a series of posts I'm doing called Green London, to show that the city has gardens, parks and other places where nature thrives.

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