Secret Spots in London: Postman’s Park

The City of London is full of interesting and historic places. One of the less well-known is the Postman’s Park. It has nothing to do with postmen – it gets its name because it is a popular place for postal workers who work nearby.

Inside Postman’s Park there is an unusual memorial to ordinary people who died trying to save others. The memorial consists of an open-air gallery featuring beautifully designed ceramic tiles, each telling the brief story of a lost life.

The memorial was created by the Victorian artist George Frederic Watts and was opened in 1900 with four tiles in place and many more were added over the next thirty years. The tiles were individually designed and produced in the Art Nouveau style.

The memorial features the heroic stories of people such as Alice Ayres who in 1885 died while saving three children from a burning house.  The final tile was placed in the memorial in 1931 but in 2009 permission was given to add a new tile, remembering Leigh Pitt who died in 2007 after saving a boy from drowning.

This quiet little park, away from the hustle and bustle of the City, is a lovely reminder of brave people who might otherwise be forgotten.

 

Postman’s Park, St Martin’s Le-Grand, London EC1

Underground – St Paul’s

Mobile App – The Everyday Heroes of Postman’s Park

 

See examples of Watts’s paintings in the nearby Guildhall Art Gallery and at the Tate Britain.

 

postman 1 postman 2 postman 3

 

If you’d like to discover more secret spots in London, check out our English courses for adults.

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