If you've seen the film Closer
with Natalie Portman
, you've already seen Postman's Park but it's unlikely you'll find it in many London travel guidebooks
. It's a small area of greenery in the busy City of London area and is close to St. Paul's Cathedral
and the Museum of London
Why the name, Postman's Park?
The area got it name as it was popular as a lunchtime garden with workers from the nearby old General Post Office. The General Post Office has gone but the park remains a popular lunchtime retreat for City workers.
Where is Postman's Park?
Postman's Park is in the churchyards of St Leonards, Foster Lane, St Botolph, Aldersgate and the graveyard of Christchurch, Newgate Street. It is in between Little Britain, Angel Street and King Edward Street. There are gates on each side, both signposted.
Why should you visit?
Under a sheltered area, along the wall, there is a 50ft long open gallery where you can see the Memorial of Heroic Self Sacrifice
. This commemorates ordinary people who died saving the lives of others and might otherwise have been forgotten. It's tragic but captivating reading.
Who had the idea?
The painter George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) came up with the idea but received little outside help so ended up creating the memorial himself. Each act of bravery is told on a hand-painted glazed Royal Doulton tile. Mary Watts, his wife, continued to add more tiles after his death.
Any more recent tiles?
In June 2009, the first new plaque for seventy years was unveiled. It tells the story of Leigh Pitt who rescued a nine year old boy from the Thamesmead canal. He died in June 2007.