The Walbrook Gardens aka St Swithin’s Church gardens and sometimes called the Oxford Court Gardens, were officially opened in 2001 with a memorial dedicated to Catrin Glyndŵr, the daughter of the Welsh freedom fighter Owain Glyndŵr, Prince of Wales.
A memorial to Wales, sited just a few yards from one of London’s very busy thoroughfares.
The monument is poignantly dedicated to ‘Women & Children Who Suffer During Times of War.’
The sculpture is described as a “curving naturalistic form and… suggests two figures: a mother protecting her child.” Its made of Welsh blue stone from the Gelligaer Quarry near Bargoed in South Wales.
The dual language inscription at the base of the memorial.
The struggle by the Welsh to free themselves of the English was led by Owain, Prince of Wales. It was during one siege at Harlech that his daughter, Catrin and her siblings were captured and taken to the Tower of London in 1409. They died of neglect in the Tower. £1 was paid to have the bodies removed and buried nearby. This happened to be the graveyard at St Swithin’s.
St Swithins Gardens is one of London’s smallest parks, the memorial can just be seen.
St Swithins church suffered damage in world war 2 and was eventually demolished, leaving just this small garden, now totally surrounded by modern office blocks.
There is some confusion as to when the gardens were opened. It was actually on Glyndŵr’s day 16 September 2001. However in 2009-10 the construction of new offices prompted a remodelling of the gardens’ layout and so the memorial was once again officially opened on 16 September 2010.
The Memorial to Catrin Glyndŵr is designed by Nick Stradlyn Jones and the sculptor is Richard Renshaw. It can be found in Oxford Court, just off Salter’s Hall Court, Cannon St, London EC4N 5AR, almost right opposite the railway station.
16 September is Glyndŵr Day in honour of the last native Prince of Wales.