Free library and secret garden at London Bridge

Posted by Paul Samael on Saturday, August 28, 2021 Under: Random thoughts

On my hunt for little free libraries, I came across this rather impressive specimen in Gibbon's Rent SE1, just off Holyrood Street, right next door to London Bridge station.  It's in a pedestrian alleyway which has been turned into a secret garden:

I say "secret" because unless you knew it was there, you probably wouldn't think to bother walking down it because the entrance just looks like an access way to various flats/offices - but it is a public thoroughfare, so it's fine to enter and have a nosey around (and if people don't, the library will never get any visitors).

There are some rather better photos of it than mine here.  Other than the entrance (which is on the left as you head south down Holyrood Street - look out for some ornate metal gates), you can't see Gibbon's Rent on Google Streetview because it's too tiny to get a car down it.  My initial thought was that the free library was a bit too off the beaten track to attract many visitors - but as I was nosing around and taking photos, someone else came by and had a look too, so you never know.

Anyway, it was a bit incongruous to come across something as small, intimate and green as this in the shadow of one of London's major stations and its tallest building, the Shard (photographed below from the road outside Gibbon's Rent):

As well as trying to create an attractive space, the designers have incorporated features like various "bug hotels", bird boxes and bat boxes in an attempt to improve the level of biodiversity in what is otherwise probably a bit of a concrete desert.  

And in case you are wondering, the explanation for the name "Gibbon's Rent" is boringly prosaic - it's probably so named because at one time it was a street of rented houses.  Anyway, it's worth a short detour if you happen to be in the area or are wondering how to pass the time while waiting for a train from London Bridge (it's literally a couple of minutes' walk from the station). 

In : Random thoughts 

Tags: "little free library" "london bridge" "gibbon's rent" "secret garden" 
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About Me

Paul Samael Welcome to my blog, "Publishing Waste" which will either (a) chronicle my heroic efforts to self-publish my own fiction; or (b) demonstrate beyond a scintilla of doubt the utter futility of (a). And along the way, I will also be doing some reviews of other people's books and occasionally blogging about other stuff.
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