City Wall area in the Barbican Estate

The ‘other’ side of the lake

If you go round the back of St Giles’ Church, there’s a gate leading down some steps to an extension of the lake. Cross the little bridge, and you are right in front of Wallside, with the mediaeval, ruined, Bastion on your right. Beyond that, you will find another area of grass running down to a ‘secret’ leg of the lake.

This is a wonderfully peaceful place to sit on a sunny day, on a bench, watching the ducks. Actually, anyone could access it from London Wall – it’s outside the area exclusive to Barbican residents, but not many people seem to know about it.

Ancient burial mound

Further back towards London wall, near Barber Surgeons Hall and almost at Monkwell Square, is an ancient burial mound. If you crawl in under the tree branches you can see many abandoned tomb stones. The trees are limes. There have been squirrel nests here in the past and this is one of the places where foxes may well have their earths. There are even the remains of mediaeval fireplaces – at one of which Shakespeare may have once warmed his ink-stained hands when he lived with the Mountjoys.

It’s a magical little area. How can you reasonably expect to find anything like this in the very heart of the City?