St Luke's Gardens
About St Luke's Gardens
St Luke's Gardens is a staffed park with the following facilities:
- unusual and attractive flower display
- new children's playground
- games area
The park is a popular relaxation area when visiting the King’s Road. It is also available for use and enjoyment by local residents.
Sydney Street SW3
7.30am until dusk.
Book to play sports
You can book the games area at St Luke’s Gardens.
To book or for more information call Chelsea Sports Centre on: 020 7352 6985
History of St Luke's Gardens
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. 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. 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. This is 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. 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. The original railings surrounding the park were removed in the early 1940s.