Monday 19 November 2012

Sayes Court Garden Schools Workshop

Thursday 22 November 2012, 1.30-4.30pm
Sayes Court Park, Deptford SE8 3LN

The Sayes Court Garden project and Outdoor Children are excited to annouce the commencement of the first of their workshops engaging children in the fantastic Sayes Court Garden Project.

On Thursday, 22nd November, children and teachers from Grinling Gibbons Primary School and Sir Francis Drake Primary School will visit Sayes Court Park to participate in an afternoon of educational workshops designed to engage and stimulate whilst most importantly of all – having fun!

"Exploring, wondering, clambering, rummaging – there is so much for children to enjoy in our outdoor heritage, be it park, garden, countryside or urban scene. So why do we instead too often rely on a soulless prescription of plastic equipment, well-meant fact sheets and gift shop bribes?" LINDEN GROVES, OUTDOOR CHILDREN 

John Evelyn’s garden at Sayes Court was one of the most famous and revolutionary gardens of its time. This was the site of not only his innovative designs and experiments, but also where he wrote his many forward-thinking texts on horticulture including Sylva, Fumifugium and the copious notes for his master work, the Elysium Britannicum.

Evelyn’s many visitors included his friends Samuel Pepys and Christopher Wren and even King Charles II himself. Towards the end of his life the house and gardens were let, and subsequently trashed(!) by Czar Peter the Great of Russia, who reportedly rode on a wheelbarrow through John Evelyn’s prize Holly Hedge, causing many hundreds of pounds worth of damage.

John Evelyn was constantly inquiring and ingenious, fascinated by the world in which he lived. We think he is a brilliant role model for children facing the exciting challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Outdoor Children – Children in the Historic Environment

"We need to stop using Health & Safety, budgets and asset protection as an excuse. Let’s shake our youngest stakeholders by the hand, engage our child visitors in our landscapes, and empower them to … enjoy!” LINDEN GROVES, OUTDOOR CHILDREN

Outdoor Children is managed by Linden Groves, a qualified landscape historian and mum-of-three with a determination to give the historic outdoors a small place in every child’s heart. Having worked for over a decade as a mainstream landscape historian, dealing with conservation issues and writing books, Linden’s experiences visiting parks and gardens with children have given her a passion for engaging the young with their outdoor environment.
Sayes Court Garden CIC

The Sayes Court Garden Community Interest Company’s aspiration is to create a public garden and research centre on the site of John Evelyn’s 17th Century garden in Deptford, SE London.

Sayes Court Garden fell into sad neglect shortly after Evelyn’s death in 1706, and through the vicissitudes of fate has come down to us today as a corner of the parcel of Convoys Wharf, where the current owners, Hutchison Whampoa, intend to build directly where the most innovative and influential parts of the garden lay.

Sayes Court Garden CIC is founded on the belief that this crucial piece of our national heritage is not only a once-beautiful historic garden, but also has a vital role to play in the success of the new development for the community at large.

Alongside their work with Outdoor Children on a series of fun but educational workshops for local primary school children, they will be seeking funding to roll out into a package of online resources, ongoing workshops, and celebratory events for the younger generation. 


  1. The Sayes Court Garden is where I spent most of my childhood. My mom used to take us there most afternoon for a walk or to play.

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