Watts Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice in Postman Park

>>  Monday, March 28, 2016

Postman Park is very close to St Paul's Cathedral.  It has a really interesting history that is worth a read about. 

Just knowing why the park is at a raised level was interesting:
"The severe lack of burial space in London meant that graves would be frequently reused in London's burial grounds, and the difficulty of digging without disturbing existing graves led to bodies often simply being stacked on top of each other to fit the available space and covered with a layer of earth."

Or that the graves stones still there meant the family could not afford to have them moved, or there was no one left to care: "The Churchwardens of the above parish hereby give notice that they intend to plant, pave, or cover over the churchyard and burial-ground. Persons having relatives interred in the said churchyard or burial-ground will be permitted (under certain regulations) to remove and inter the remains of such relatives in any burial-ground or cemetery, without the city. Persons also, to the memory of whose relatives any tomb, monument, or inscription may have been erected therein, may (under the like regulations) cause such tomb or grave-stones to be removed and taken away; but such removal, in either case, must be at the expense of the persons causing the same to be done."

But what I went in for was to see GF Watts memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice.

There is again a lot of worth in reading more about the dedication behind the idea, the history of buying the land, the reasons for the different tile colours and the empty spaces.  

The original inspiration Alice Ayres.

 But each tablet pulls you in and I could have spend a good hour reading them.

 The number of drownings really played on me.

The seats along the front of it seem to be a popular picnic spot which made reading the emotion a  bit awkward.

So perhaps visiting outside of the main lunchtime period would be better.

It is a funny sort of place not quite protected enough from time with the modern flats and double glazing just above it.  It partly seemed a shame but also added to its draw and quirkiness.

If you go to St Paul's take the time to have a walk out to this, and spend just 5 minutes having a quick look or sit and eat your sandwiches here instead of on the steps of St Pauls with the crowds.

It'll be worth it.

Oh and if you are wondering, the building on one side belonged to the GPO and a lot of postmen had their lunch here, hence the name.


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