Red Cross Garden

Red Cross Garden is an historic and award winning park which we renovated and restored to its original Victorian layout in 2005, and have manged ever since. It is kept in immaculate condition by many volunteers and staff and it has a significant history of bringing nature to an overcrowded city people.

Octavia Hill, social reformer and one of the founders of The National Trust, built Red Cross Garden and the neighbouring cottages in 1886. It was her flagship project. Here she demonstrated the importance of improving housing for the poor, of contact with nature for residents, and the need for meaningful occupation for poor workers.  Her work here formed the roots of a century and a half of development in social housing, occupational therapy, the Sea cadets, community gardening, and access to nature.

The historic layout of Red Cross Garden was lost under municipal grass and tarmac by the late 1940s and became much underused. BOST secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Southwark Council and restored many of its original features. The garden was officially opened by the Princess Royal on 1st June 2006. Since then we have built up a regular group of volunteers to help maintain the garden and develop tours of the key historic details of the scheme, along with regular after-school clubs, poetry readings, celebrations, and events.

Red Cross Garden, 50 Redcross Way, London, SE1 1HA