Red Cross Gardens, Red Cross Way

Page 87

Survey of London: Volume 22, Bankside (The Parishes of St. Saviour and Christchurch Southwark). Originally published by London County Council, London, 1950.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.



In 1762 the Society of Friends, who for some years had had no permanent place of meeting in Southwark, (fn. n1) took a lease of land on the W. side of Red Cross Street (now Red Cross Way), where they already had a burial ground, and built a meeting house. The former was closed for interments in 1794, but the meeting house was enlarged in 1799 and continued in use until 1860, when the whole site was sold to the Metropolitan Board of Works in connection with the formation of Southwark Street. (fn. 191) Part of it was bought and laid out as a garden in 1887 by Julie, Countess of Ducie and others at the suggestion of Octavia Hill. (fn. 192) Small as it is, the garden is valuable as one of the few green open spaces in this very crowded area. To the south wall is attached a monument of 18th-century date bearing a coat of arms but no inscription. It probably came from one of the tombs in the burial ground. (fn. n2)

Figure 39:

Stone monument on the wall of Red Cross Gardens


  • n1. For a few years after 1658 the Quakers met for a time at the house of Thomas Hackleton near the Falcon. From 1674 to 1685 they had a meeting house (know as the Old Park Meeting house) on ground rented from James Ewer, who built Ewer Street, but in 1685 this building was seized by the military and turned into a guard house and it was not restored to the Quakers for several years.
  • n2. After the sale of the burial ground the bodies buried there were exhumed and removed. An account of the exhumation by George Leake, the undertaker, has been preserved but he makes no mention of the monument.
  • 191. The London Friends' Meetings, by William Beck and T. F. Ball, 1869.
  • 192. Octavia Hill, by E. Moberly Bell, 1942.