Hidden behind houses and large mansion blocks in Mayfair is this lovely little park which also contains a doorway to the striking 1849 Church of the Immaculate Conception – a real Victorian Gothic extravaganza.
Mount Street Gardens can be found off Mount Street in the west of the Mayfair area of London.
Created in 1889 on the former burial ground of St George’s, Hanover Square, the park is named after Mount Field, an area including a fortification dating from the English Civil War named Oliver’s Mount.
The gardens have a somewhat complicated past – as documented in this article – but now serve as a public park, open to all.
The park was quiet when I visited on a Saturday afternoon. In the distance can be seen the entrance to the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
North-eastern entrance to the park.
Relaxing with a pooch.
The park is quite narrow.
This striking 8 foot bronze sculpture of a horse’s head by Nic Fiddian-Green dominates the park along with this huge palm tree (below):
There’s some lovely architecture backing on to the park.
Entering the Church of the Immaculate Conception from the park.
The highly decorated Gothic church was inspired by Beauvais Cathedral and has a high altar designed by Gothic Revival pioneer, Augustus Pugin
There are stunning views to be seen inside the church.
In Sir Simon Jenkins‘s 1999 book England’s Thousand Best Churches, the author comments:
Not an inch of wall surface is without decoration – and this in the austere 1840s, not the colourful late-Victorian era. the right aisle carries large panels portraying the Stations of the Cross, the left aisle has side chapels and confessionals, ingeniously carved within the piers. In the west window above the gallery is excellent modern glass by Evie Hone of 1953, with the richness of colour of a Burne-Jones [—]
Here’s some more views of the interior:
At the opposite end of the park on South Audley Street can be found the Grosvenor Chapel. Built in the 1730s, it inspired many churches in New England. Fact! The wedding at the start of the Richard Curtis film “Love Actually” takes place in the Grosvenor Chapel.