St James’s Park: Brief history and where to live nearby

London’s St James’s Park is a Royal park of great antiquity. Once the haunt of deer and wild boar, it now offers a welcome oasis in the heart of the city for locals and visitors alike. This brief guide will tell you all you need to know about visiting this iconic green space, before taking a look at some of the neighbourhoods close by which might appeal to those looking for property in London.

A brief history of St James’s Park

The land on which St James Park now stands has been associated with royalty since the Norman Conquest. William the Conqueror built a palace here, and it was later developed by successive monarchs. In 1532, Henry VIII acquired the property. It became the principal royal residence, and remained so for centuries.

Sir Christopher Wren

In the early 17th century, King Charles I commissioned Inigo Jones to create a formal garden in what was then known as St James Fields. This was effectively the birth of the park as we know it today. After Jones’s death, work continued under Sir Christopher Wren.

By 1660, the park had reached its current size of some 23 hectares (57 acres). The park has been a site of recreation and relaxation for Londoners ever since it was first open to the public in 1635.

A peaceful patch of green and blue in the city

These days, St James’s Park is home to a variety of different species of bird, including pelicans, ducks, geese and swans, which thrive in and around the park’s beautiful lake. In fact, it is one of the few places in London where you can see wild animals in their natural habitat.

The park also has a number of statues and monuments, including those of George III, Admiral Lord Nelson and Sir Winston Churchill. There are also two lakes, which are home to a variety of waterfowl, and also a number of statues and monuments.

The park plays host to a range of events throughout the year, from open-air concerts to food festivals. It’s also a popular spot for picnics in the summer months and is a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Where to live near St James’s Park

If you’re looking for somewhere to relax in the heart of London, St James’s Park is the perfect spot. And if you’re thinking of moving to the area, there are plenty of great places to live nearby. Here are just a few of our favourites…


Just to the south of St James’s Park is Pimlico, a fashionable neighbourhood with a village-like feel. This is an ideal place to live if you want easy access to the park, as well as plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars on your doorstep.


If you’re looking for a more central location, then Victoria is the perfect choice. This bustling neighbourhood is home to a number of attractions, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Plus, it’s just a short walk from St James’s Park.


For those who want to live in luxury, Mayfair is the ideal spot. This prestigious neighbourhood is home to some of London’s most exclusive residences and has a reputation for being one of the most expensive places to live in the city. However, it’s worth noting that Mayfair is also just a stone’s throw from St James’s Park and Hyde Park, making it the perfect place to enjoy some of London’s most iconic green spaces.


If you’re looking for a neighbourhood that offers a more relaxed atmosphere, Kensington might be the perfect choice. This area is home to a number of museums and cultural attractions, as well as lovely gardens like Holland Park. Plus, it’s just a short walk from both Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.


Chelsea is another great option for those who want to live in central London. This neighbourhood is home to a number of boutiques, restaurants and cafes, as well as some of the city’s best nightlife. Plus, it’s just a short walk from both Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

New build homes near St James’s Park

If you’re looking for a brand new development near St James’s Park, then you should definitely check out some of the developments on our list. All our ratings come from verified residents, so you can be sure you’re getting an accurate picture of each development, and what it’s like to live there.

Folio London at St James is a large development of flats, maisonettes and houses designed in the 1980s. These homes range from one to four bedrooms and are located close to the local amenities of Old Kent road, within in walking distance to the tube and overground stations. Read reviews and details of Folio London at St James, SE1

Fitzroy Place is a mixed-use development built on the site of the old Middlesex Hospital in the heart of London’s West End. It features 200 residential units – one, two and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses – and a number of commercial outlets. Residents enjoy first-class transport links around London, thanks to nearby Goodge Street and Oxford Circus, which provide […] Read reviews and details of Fitzroy Place, W1

Charterhouse The Square is a mixed-use development by Thornsett, which comprises of 174 residential units across two blocks. On site, there are a range of one and two-bedroom apartments alongside a concierge service. The development is a 3-minute walk away from Barbican station and is located in the Farringdon area with its vast array of […] Read reviews and details of Charterhouse the Square, EC1M

4.15 (20 reviews)
4.15 (20 reviews)

Barts Square is a large mixed-use redevelopment by Sheppard Robson for Helical, comprising of 236 high-quality apartments, three office buildings and retail and restaurant space. It’s within close proximity to Farringdon East Station, which provides links to Canary Wharf, the West End and Heathrow Airport. Read reviews and details of Barts Square, EC1

Dolphin Square was built in 1936 and is located in Pimlico – an up and coming area, home of Westminster Abbey, the Tate Britain and the Victoria Apollo Theatre. As well as this, SW1 offers a diverse range of boutique shops, bakeries, galleries and street markets, which residents at Dolphin Square can peruse at their […] Read reviews and details of Dolphin Square, SW1

Developed by Land Securities and designed by Patrick Lynch, Millier and Spinocchia Freud, Kings Gate offers 100 apartments, ranging from studios to four-bedroom penthouses. The development has a prime location in Westminster, with views over the Royal Parks, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Cathedral and the River Thames. Read reviews and details of Kings Gate, SW1

Westminster Quarter, a Taylor Wimpey Central London development provides a total of 102 private luxury residential apartments, many with outdoor space designed by White Ink Architects. Westminster Quarter offers views of the river Thames and other iconic landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Read reviews and details of Westminster Quarter, SW1

More options in the area

If none of the above developments float your boat, then don’t worry – there are plenty of other great developments near St James’s Park. Check out our full list of developments in central London to find your perfect match.

Only a privileged few are lucky enough to call Central London home. This is one of the most famous cities in the world, so naturally, living in its heart doesn’t come cheap. With house prices falling largely into the multi-million pound bracket, residents here Read more about Central London

HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to recognise high performers and help improve standards in the built environment.

Main image credit: Colin