Elizabeth Boxall

We visited Postman's Park yesterday. It's in the City of London, near St Paul's Cathedral. In a corner of the park there are lots of plaques like this one, created by the painter George Frederick Watts to commemorate people who died saving others.

William Donald

The language is so lugubrious, like Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies or Lemony Snicket. Every tile has something, a name or a place or a word that places it firmly in the past.

William Fisher

After the second wall (there are 4 in all) it becomes quite heartbreaking. I couldn't find out too much about it, just that Watts didn't like the upper classes much and wanted to celebrate ordinary lives. Lovely idea, beautifully done. More plaques in my Flickr set and the Postman's Park Flickr group.

Wow - I never knew about this place. I suspect I may end up visiting and taking similar photos at some point..

Isn't that Strange Anne - just been reading about Postman's Park in a book - and I didn't know where it was either!
Hope you're enjoying London!

How fascinating - another almost lost gem.

Hiya, Not sure if you came across my boyfriend's article on this place when you were looking for info? If not, he's got quite a bit of detail...

I often used to spend lunchbreaks reading the tiles in Postman's Park when I worked around the corner at Barts Hospital many years ago. I remember a big black hulking statue of a minotaur in the park as well. Has my unreliable memory collaged that in from somewhere else? Or has it been removed?

I never made the connection with GF Watts. He's got a painting in Tate Britain called 'Hope' in which the allegorical figure of Hope sits blindfolded on top of the globe plucking out a melody on the one unbroken string of her lyre. Very Victorian. But it sort of fits with the sentiment behind Postman's Park, doesn't it?

Was featured in the film Closer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closer_(film)

What a wonderful find. It's now on my list of places to visit when I'm next in London. Reminds me a little of these two plaques at the Victoria & Albert Museum :

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15134271@N03/1580935278/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15134271@N03/1580043727/

Hope you're not feeling too glum now your holiday is over!

Simon James x

I'm somewhat ashamed to say I didn't know about this until reading this post - visited it earlier today and it's rather extraordinary...

Whoops, that was me.

If only Edward Gorey had seen these, paricularly the "dangerous entanglement of weed" one...

'particularly', dammit.

I recently took a "History of Printing in London" walking tour, and this was a side portion of one of our stops. I instantly fell in love with it, and marked it as a place I need to come back to if possible. Unfortunately I live in California and am not certain when that will be. I didn't take nearly enough photographs of the tiles :(

In 1957 as a young postman I Ist visited Postmans Park, this has stayed with me.In 2000 as Mayor of Newham I founded the Jack T Cornwall Bravery award to be given each year for one act of Bravery in the London Borough of Newham G.W.Watts was my insperation for this.

There's a new play called 'Daniel Hit by a Train' which tells the stories of the people commemorated there. It's on at The Arches early November...

It really is beautiful. A group of us were in London last week for a uni art trip (Frieze was on) and we explored London a bit. We were by St Paul's looking on a map for a tube station and I saw this on the map. Had heard about it, and there's a Susan Hiller piece at our local gallery (Leeds) based on it so we went for a look. Of everything we saw in London that week we all agreed that nothing was as moving as this, and I plan to base my next project (art and identity) on it.

That's great Beth - thanks for leaving a comment. Do let me know when your work is ready - it'd be really interesting to see it.

Hope it goes well!

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