Photo: Iridescent on Wikimedia Commons
A special spot in the City
Talk of the town: The park played a key role in 2004 film Closer; one of the characters, played by Natalie Portman, even takes her name from one of the memorial plaques, Alice Ayres.
A peaceful leafy enclave in the frenetic, dense City of London is a rarity in itself, but this park near St Paul’s has something really unusual: a wall of Victorian plaques commemorating ordinary people who died performing brave deeds.
The rather moving tributes contain enough detail to capture the imagination, such as the one to Alice Ayers who, in 1884, ‘by intrepid conduct saved 3 children from a burning house in Union Street, Borough - at the cost of her own young life.’ The memorial was proposed by philanthropist G.F Watts in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria's Jubilee; when the idea was not taken up, he created it himself.
The name comes from the fact that the park was once next to the General Post Office and workers used to have their lunch here; now, they've been replaced by city workers having a moment's respite.