London Gardens Online
London Gardens Online


St James's Palace and Clarence House Gardens Westminster


The royal residences of Clarence House and St James's Palace share this large garden, which is on the site of the late C17th royal pleasure grounds. It is hidden behind an C18th (?) brick wall with a stone coping on top of which is a lofty wooden fence and behind this a high hedge of laurels. A number of fine old plane trees are visible over the wall. An area of formal planting at the front of Clarence House was designed in 2004-5 by The Prince of Wales in memory of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. The scheme was laid out by members of The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts.

Basic Details

Site location:
St James's

SW1 1BA ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Private Garden



Listed structures:
LBI: St James's Palace; Clarence House.


Site ownership:
The Crown

Site management:

Open to public?

Opening times:
Clarence House is usually open for tours in summer months, including visits to the garden, but not in 2012 due to the London Olympics.

Special conditions:
Admission charge (for information see



Public transport:
Tube: St James's Park (District, Circle), Green Park (Victoria, Piccadilly, Jubilee). Bus: 8, 9. 14, 19, 22, 38

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/05/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Further Information

Grid ref:

Size in hectares:

Green Flag:

On EH National Register :

EH grade:

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:

In Conservation Area:

Conservation Area name:
St James's

Tree Preservation Order:

Nature Conservation Area:

Green Belt:

Metropolitan Open Land:

Special Policy Area:

Other LA designation:

Fuller information

St James's Palace, originally known as St James's House, was built by Henry VIII between 1531-36 on a site that was previously that of the Hospital of St James, Westminster. Part of the original Tudor fabric remains, including the Chapel Royal, fine gatehouse, a number of turrets, and rooms in the State Apartments. The palace site encompasses four courts, Ambassadors' Court, Engine Court, Friary Court and Colour Court. Since 1536 St James's Palace served as a royal residence for successive monarchs until 1837, when Queen Victoria took residence at Buckingham Palace (q.v.). It remains a working palace and provides offices for numerous royal organisations and functions, and its State Apartments are used for entertaining state visitors, ceremonial and formal occasions as well as receptions for charities. The Palace is also the London residences of The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal and Princess Alexandra.

Clarence House was designed by John Nash and built in 1825-27 for Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence. He later lived here as King William IV from 1830-1837. It was the London home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother from 1953 - 2002 and also of The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, and The Duke of Edinburgh following their marriage in 1947. Today it is an official residence for The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William and Prince Harry.

Sources consulted:

Edward Jones & Christopher Woodward, A Guide to the Architecture of London, London 1983, p.193; Harold Clunn, the Face of London (c1950) p.215. See history of the Royal Residences on

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