Cross Bones Garden of Remembrance by Bankside Open Spaces Trust

Cross Bones Garden is being made on the site of Cross Bones Graveyard. For centuries, it was a paupers’ burial ground used for the interment of bodies which could not be accommodated on consecrated ground. Many of the people buried here were prostitutes. They paid money to the bishop when they lived but were deemed too sinful for a place in a churchyard. The bishop’s attitude was disgracefully un-Christian by our standards. I would like to see the current Bishop of Winchester lend his support to the garden as an act of atonement.
The community garden is being made by volunteers, co-ordinated by BOST, the Bankside Open Spaces Trust, with the initial landscape design by Helen John. As explained in 2015 ‘BOST is working closely with John Constable, the Friends of Crossbones, and other local individuals and companies. Our vision together is for a garden led by local people that shows respect to the outcast dead who are buried beneath. The aim is to provide a sensitive, contemplative environment for all who would spend time here. It is going to be a major undertaking and we would very much welcome your help…. It has been a major accomplishment to get where we are now, with a three year lease, planning permission, comprehensive surveys, and a costed development plan for the garden. We have to thank everyone who has helped get us to this stage including our initial funders – the landowners TFL, the GLA’s Pocket Parks Programme, Southwark Council, Hogan Lovells, Hacking and Son and our Landscape architect Helen John’.

Tom Turner