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Visiting Nelson Gardens, South Wimbledon, London, England: Overlooked by the Neo-Gothic Church of St. John the Divine

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West front of St John the Divine parish church, High Path, Merton, London SW19, seen from Nelson Gardens

West front of St John the Divine parish church, High Path, Merton, London SW19, seen from Nelson Gardens

Seemingly a typical, English country church, but now in London

[NB: Among the many notable buildings which are the subject of the hubpages, these may include religious buildings, described as churches, etc.; these descriptions centre on the buildings' architectural and historical interest. This very short article was written based on recollections of a visit made a number of years ago.]

At first glace, this church seems to be a typical building from Medieval times, not uncommon in rural England.

Actually, it dates from 1914 (1), and it is located in London, England, even though at its time of construction South Wimbledon was a village outside London. Today, South Wimbledon forms part of the London Borough of Merton (2).

The Church of St. John the Divine, executed in Neo-Gothic style (which gives the building the appearance of a Medieval provenance), has features which include thick, flying buttresses, a fairly low, crenellated tower, and a number of pointed windows, including conspicuous window tracery. Taken together, these features demonstrate a strongly Neo-Gothic flavour.

The main photo, above, appears to show the evening sun causing the stonework of the building to glow: a sight I myself witnessed repeatedly when passing this way, years ago. The location seen is at High Path, Merton, SW19.

While in London, Admiral Lord Nelson is more famously remembered at Nelson's Column, Trafalgar Square, in front of the Church of St. John the Divine is a small, public park called Nelson Gardens, which contain some ornamental cannons. While such a name for a public facility or building in any part of England would not be unusual, given the fame of the victor of Trafalgar, 1805, Admiral Lord Nelson did, in fact, have connections with this former part of the County of Surrey, now incorporated into London.

The Nelson Gardens date from 1906 and formerly formed part of the estate called Merton Place, where Admiral Lord Nelson lived from 1801 until 1805 (3).

Admiral Lord Nelson did not return to Merton Place after the Battle of Trafalgar, because, while emerging the victor, he was killed there at his moment of triumph.

The Gardens were reconstituted in the 1980s.

April 4, 2020

Notes

(1) See also: http://www.stjohnsw19.org.uk/index_introduction.html

(2) The London Borough of Merton was created in 1965.

(3) See also: https://www.parksandgardens.org/places/nelson-gardens-including-st-john-the-divine-church

Some sourcing: Wikipedia

 'An Emblematic design in Memory of our Much lamented Hero Lord Viscount Nelson...'  "National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London"; Royal Museums Greenwich Copyright

'An Emblematic design in Memory of our Much lamented Hero Lord Viscount Nelson...' "National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London"; Royal Museums Greenwich Copyright

Also worth seeing

London has such huge numbers of visitor attractions that I will refer to only a small fraction of the principal ones; these include: Trafalgar Square; the Houses of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster; Westminster Abbey; St. Paul's Cathedral; the Royal Albert Hall; and many others.

...

How to get there

United Airlines flies from New York Newark Airport to London Heathrow Airport, where car rental is available. Underground and train services link Heathrow Airport with Central London. Nelson Gardens and St. John the Divine Church are situated close to South Wimbledon Underground Station, on the Northern Line (here, a misnomer, because the location is in the Borough of Merton, in South London, close to the boundary with Surrey). Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada

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