Whitehall Gardens

The gardens are within walking distance from Trafalgar Square towards the River Thames or the Hungerford or Jubilee Bridges that cross the River Thames. It is just one of the gardens that form the Victoria Embankment Gardens created from 1864 following the embankment of the Thames by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.

The garden laid out in 1875 by George Vulliamy has a wonderful array of shrubbery, bedding displays, mature London plane trees, lime trees and trees of heaven. Three statues stand within grassed islands commemorate William Tyndale, Sir Henry Bartle Frere and General Sir James Outram. Whitehall Gardens offers a hidden oasis enclosed within elaborate railings, reproductions of Bazalgette’s design of 1873. It is also a designated Site of Importance for Natural Conservation for its contribution to wildlife.

The statue of William Tyndale was put here in 1884. He was an English scholar who became a leading figure in the Protestant Reformation in the years leading up to his execution. He is well known for his (incomplete) translation of the Bible into English. A number of partial translations had been made from the seventh century onward, but  Tyndale’s translation was the first English Bible to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts and was the first to use the new printing press making the new translation a lot more easier to get to the people.

The statue of Henry Bartle Frere is an outdoor 1887 sculpture of the British colonial administrator of the same name, who had a successful career in India, rising to become Governor of Bombay.

The last one is the statue of James Outram. He was an British general in India, famous for his reputation of honest, ethical and behaved gentleman.

The building that faces the garden provides an architectural backdrop that transports you to the French countryside. This Grade l listed building is reminiscent of a French Chateau. From 1971 to the present day it is the Royal Horseguards Hotel and was built in 1884 as part of an ambitious development of luxury residential accommodation in Whitehall.

Take a short walk from the gardens to the front of the hotel where you will see a recently unveiled blue plaque to the original “M” fictionalised in the James Bond stories -Sir Mansfield Cumming who was the first Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service who would sign correspondence using the initial “C”. The practice still continues to this day with his successors using the same initial.

Here is the exact location of the gardens:

Author: marinelapetrunova

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