The Museum of Garden History
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The Museum of Garden History

The site of the tomb of William Bligh and the Tradescants.


This museum is based in a deconsecrated church dating back as the parish church of St Mary of Lambeth since at least 1042.

1042 was when King Harthacnut died at the wedding feast of Dane Tofi the Proud to Gytha, daughter of Osgood Clapa the Theyne. In 1062 Countess Goda was given Lambeth by Edward the Confessor and she built the first of five Churches on this site.

In 1976 John and Rosemary Nicholson traced the tomb of the two 17th century royal gardeners and plant hunters John Tradescant father and son to the churchyard, and were inspired to create the Museum of Garden History. It was the first museum in the world dedicated to the history of gardening. It is an independent charity and does not receive government funding.

Five members of the Tradescant family are buried here: John the Elder; John the Younger with his two wives Jane and Hester, and his son, also called John, who died aged 19. The original 17th century design for the tomb is in the Pepys Library, Oxford, and an image of it may also be found at the National Portrait Gallery.

Also buried in the churchyard is William Bligh, captain of the Bounty.

Location: Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 7LB