Address: Sydney Street SW3
St Luke’s Gardens has an unusual and attractive flower display, a new children's playground and Multi-Use-Games-Area. The park is a popular relaxation area when visiting the King’s Road as well as being available for use and enjoyment by local residents.
Staffed Park. Open 7.30am until dusk. Sports Booking Line (through Chelsea Sports Centre): 020 7352 6985
At the end of the 18th century the growth of the population in Chelsea increased the demand for burial grounds. A site was chosen near to the Kings Road burial grounds and the new St Luke’s graveyard was consecrated in 1812. A perimeter wall and 9ft railings were installed around the site as protection against grave robbers.
The growing population also meant that the original parish church was now seen as too small, and designs were commissioned for a new parish church to sit at the centre of the St Luke’s burial grounds. James Savage was chosen as the architect, and the foundation stone for the church was laid in October 1820.
St. Luke’s is one of the first Neo-Gothic churches to be built in London. The nave, 60ft in height, is the tallest of any parish church in London, and the tower reaches a height of 142 feet. English Heritage has listed St Luke’s Church as Grade I and the gardens are Grade II listed on the ‘Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historical Interest in England'.
St Luke’s Gardens ceased to be a burial ground around 1857 and was converted into a public garden in 1881. The gravestones were moved to form a boundary wall that is still present today. A grant from the London County Council in 1887 helped to develop the gardens and James Veitch, a local nurseryman and prominent plant collector, assisted with the planting of the formal gardens.
During the Second World War the park suffered from bomb damage, and the original railings surrounding the park were removed in the early 1940s to help with the war effort.