Bombed during World War II, St George’s Garrison Church survives as an evocative ruin with recently conserved mosaics, and a modern canopy roof, now available for all to enjoy.

Garden > Garden Project
  • Illustration
  • Illustration
  • Illustration
  • Illustration

Commonwealth and Gurkha Garden Project

We are building a Commonwealth & Gurkha Garden at St George's. The Trust is delighted to have approved plans prepared by RHS Gold Medal and People's Choice Award winning designer Juliet Sargeant. The Trust Steering Group is now guiding the project, considering the possibilities and options with interested parties.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has many communities with Commonwealth connections including those from West Africa, the Caribbean, and South Asia, and our substantial Gurkha community. We are connecting with these links ito bring the project to fruition.

We are honoured and delighted that Prince Richard Duke of Gloucester has agreed to be our Patron. His Royal Highness has a professional and personal interest in architecture, heritage and military veterans.

See the plan.

The Concept

The garden will be on the land to the north of the Church (on your left looking from the main road) with views of the Church, the Barracks to the west and elevated views across Woolwich to the East.

Juliet Sargeant's design concept is based on the "Fault Lines" of Conflict and Reconciliation, with the sympathetic planting of grasses flowers and shrubs, enhanced by artwork and artefacts drawn from the constituent peoples of the Commonwealth and Nepal

Juliet's Inspiration - a summary

Juliet Sargeant is a celebrated British garden designer of British/Tanzanian parentage bringing her skills and experience to our project.


•Fault lines - can be environmental or political
•A garden to reflect fault lines and our combined resilience to them.
•Highlighting the history of resilience to these fault lines and celebrating the strength (individual and group) to tackle them in order to pave the way for brighter futures

•The use of a cohesive planting theme appropriate for the environment and punctuated with accents of individual character- representing the individualism of a patchwork of Commonwealth and Nepalese communities coming together as one
•The use of cultural motifs to demonstrate the unique character of respected member states
 

The Plan

The design brief incorporates the ecological and educational aspects of this project. The gardens will include a water feature and there will be an amphitheatre at the north eastern corner for group talks or private celebrations.

Our MP Matthew Pennycook wrote of the scheme: “ I was hugely impressed with the...potential for the Garden not only to enhance the restored Garrison Church but also to strengthen the community’s and the country’s relationship with the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth service personnel who served gallantly in successive armed conflicts”

The Project launched in July 2021 - see the event here.

Endorsements - The Rt.Hon. Earl Howe (Deputy Leader of the House of Lords and former Minister of Defence) has said "The Commonwealth and Gurkha Garden is an inspired concept, brought to life by a brilliant, award-winning designer. As well as being an amenity for the residents of Woolwich, it will provide a space for all visitors to reflect upon the enormous contribution made by those from the Commonwealth and Nepali backgrounds in the cause of freedom."

Joanna Lumley OBE FRGS (born in Kashmir, India and staunch supporter of Gurkhas) has said "The Commonwealth and Gurkha Garden is going to be a place of quietness and remembrance, a place of rustling leaves and comforting sun and shade, it will be a place to have pride, to feel sorrow being washed away, a place to think and be grateful for all those who came from faraway homes to fight for our country and for freedom from tyranny. I love it already."

The Worshipful Company of Gardeners - whose Charter was granted in 1605 - have written that the Company Court has agreed to "give its whole-hearted support to endorsing your project - The Commonwealth and Gurkha Garden...and we wish you all success with it."

Watch this space! In the meantime your input or ideas are welcome - please email our Chair - tim@ttbarnes.com

Stay in touch

St George's Garrison Church in Woolwich, with its modern canopy roof and stunning mosaics, is both an evocative ruin and a contemporary space. Designed by Thomas H Wyatt in an Italian-Romanesque style, the Church was built between 1862-63 to serve the Royal Artillery in Woolwich. Today it is run by a local group, the Woolwich Garrison Church Trust who are committed to making it available for all to visit and enjoy. Directly opposite the Barracks in Woolwich, South East London, come and enjoy its beauty and peaceful garden.

Read more