This little Grade II listed summerhouse in St James's Square, off Pall Mall London, was planned by John Nash in 1817-18. Nash also (as a plaque inside informs us) "supervised the design and layout of the gardens." Despite later changes, not only the summerhouse but other elements of his work remain. For instance, it was he who "enlarged the enclosure," and "added curving walks and a shrubbery around the perimeter" (listing text).

Left: Closer view of the plaque. Right: A view of the gardens, with the summerhouse on the far left.

Standing at the centre of the gardens is an exceptionally fine equestrian statue of William III designed by John Bacon the elder, executed by John Bacon the Younger, and installed in here in 1808 (Weinreb et al. 876). This is Grade I listed, and its siting must have been an important consideration for Nash when he formulated his plans.

Nash did so much else in St James's, including, as the plaque informs us, Carlton House Terrace, Clarence House, The Theatre Royal, and the former United Services Club, Pall Mall."

Hare on Pyramid by Barry Flanagan (1988).

In the heart of London's clubland, a stone's throw from Christie's auction house and many private art galleries, the open space here is an ideal location for open-air sculpture shows. Christie's held one here in the early summer of 2019, featuring amongst others Barry Flanagan's lithe, fleet and perfectly poised bronze,Hare on Pyramid (1988). The statue of William III can be seen in the background, on the right.

Photographs and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Links to Related Material


"St James's Square." Historic England. Web. 29 November 2019.

Weinreb, Ben, Christopher Hibbert, Julia Keay and John Keay, eds. The London Encyclopaedia. 3rd ed. London: Macmillan, 2008.

Created 298 November 2019