The Riverside Gardens of Thomas More’s London

Christianson, C. Paul
Date published: 
October 2005

All but forgotten today, eight historic gardens that once flourished along the length of the Thames in early Tudor London are here historically recreated and analysed in this richly illustrated book. One of the gardens belonged to Sir Thomas More and the others to politically powerful friends and acquaintances of his. The stories of these long-lost gardens, brought together here for the first time, shed new light not only on London’s garden history and that of its first gardeners but also on the lives and outlooks of some of the most important figures within and around the court of Henry VIII.

The locations of these gardens range from the Tower of London to More’s own country manor at Chelsea, from Cardinal Wolsey’s York Place in Westminster (later transformed into Whitehall Palace by Henry VIII) to Hampton Court. The book explores in detail the gardens that More knew so well and shows how their histories are intimately connected to his own. More than any single garden could, the group of eight riverside gardens illuminates not only their practical realities but also their political importance