10 unusual parks or gardens in London…10. The Cloister Garden, Museum of the Order of St John…

Located in the historic former Priory of St John of Jerusalem in Clerkenwell, this garden – despite its historic context – was planted out in the mid-1950s after the adjoining church was restored having suffered extensive damage from incendiary bombs in 1941.

The Cloister Garden in 2015. PICTURE: MrsEds (licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The garden, which was created on the site of two former church buildings and was designed by Alison Wear, is planted with flowers and fragrant and medicinal herbs and features a 200-year-old olive tree brought from Jerusalem.

A quiet place of reflection, it serves as a memorial to those who died in the two World Wars.

The garden, which is maintained by volunteers, was redeveloped in 2009-10 – thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Wellcome Trust – with the addition of paving and beds for planting.

Alongside being a peaceful haven for a casual visit, the garden is also these days used as an event space.

WHERE: The Cloister Garden, The Museum of the Order of St John, St John’s Gate, St John’s Lane, Clerkenwell (nearest Tube station is Farringdon); WHEN: Museum galleries and garden are open from 10am to 5pm Wednesday to Saturday; COST: Free; WEBSITE: https://museumstjohn.org.uk.

10 unusual parks or gardens in London…4. Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden…

PICTURE: Courtesy of VisitLondon.com

This garden can be found on the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre.

The 1,200 square metre garden, which was created in 2011 as part of the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Festival of Britain celebrations, was developed in partnership with the Eden Project.

It is maintained by volunteers from Grounded Ecotherapy, a group which offers people dealing with issues like homelessness and addiction help through horticulture.

The Garden features more than 200 wild native plants as well as a lawn, paths and paving – and stunning views across the river. There’s also a cafe and bar.

WHERE: Queen Elizabeth hall Roof Garden (nearest Tube stations are Waterloo and Embankment); WHEN: Wednesday to Sunday from noon; COST: Free; WEBSITE: www.southbankcentre.co.uk/visit/outdoor/queen-elizabeth-hall-roof-garden-cafe-bar.

10 unusual parks or gardens in London…3. Crossbones Graveyard and Garden of Remembrance…

The Crossbones Cemetery in 2017. PICTURE: Matt Brown (licensed under CC BY 2.0)

This small walled garden, located in Southwark, for centuries served as a burial site for the poor of the area nd by the time of its closing in 1853, was the location of some 15,000 burials.

The graveyard is said to have started life as an unconsecrated burial site for ‘Winchester Geese’, sex workers in the medieval period who were licensed to work in the brothels of the Liberty of the Clink by the Bishop of Winchester.

Excavations carried out in the 1990s confirmed a crowded graveyard was on the site.

While the site had been neglected for years following its closure, in 1996 local writer John Constable and a group he co-founded, the Friends of Crossbones, began a campaign to transform Crossbones into a garden of remembrance – something which has happened thanks to their efforts and those of the Bankside Open Spaces Trust and others.

Tributes left on the fence outside the graveyard in Red Cross Way. PICTURE: Garry Knight (licensed under CC BY 2.0)

The garden provides a contemplative space for people to pay their respects to what have become known as the “outcast dead”.

A plaque, funded by Southwark Council, was installed on the gates in 2006 which records the history of the site and the efforts to create a memorial shrine.

WHERE: Crossbones Graveyard, Redcross Way, Southwark (nearest Tube stations are London Bridge and Borough); WHEN: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 12 to 2pm; COST: Free; WEBSITE: www.bost.org.uk/crossbones-graveyard.