Spain Getaways: San Carlos, A Garden With History

San Carlos Garden in A Coruña is the burial site of Sir John Moore, a British military leader who lost his life during the battle that took place in this city in 1809. Let me tell you a little bit about this interesting historical fact.

On January 16, 1809 the fight between the French and British forces on the north-west coast of Spain in Galicia began. A Coruña was to be the setting for one of the most notorious and distressing incidents in British military history. This was part of a much wider conflict known as the Peninsular War which was fought between Napoleon’s forces and Bourbon Spanish soldiers to control Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. 

Scottish-born General Sir John Moore took command of the British forces in Portugal with almost 30,000 men. The plan was to march across the border into Spain in order to support the Spanish forces which had been fighting Napoleon. Moore’s goal was to reach A Coruña’s port and later sail back to England but was stopped by the French army near the city. During the bloody confrontation, Moore was wounded by a cannonball and died two days later. Despite losing their commander, the British were able to escape from the French.

Sir John Moore’s burial site is surrounded by a beautiful garden with amazing views of the port and city of A Coruña. There is a memorial service every year that commemorates the battle and death of the British General.

And of course there is an urban legend! Lady Hester Stanhope’s ghost visits the garden every 16th of January and leaves a flower on his tomb. But, who is this mysterious woman? Lady Hester was born into privilege, was intelligent and with interests that were atypical for her time and gender. She lived with his uncle, Prime Minister William Pitt and took the role of her uncle’s social hostess, meeting influential military and political figures. After Pitt’s death she developed a close relationship with Sir John Moore and when he died, she kept his bloodstained glove that someone brought to her after the battle in A Coruña.

If you want to know more check out this link:

Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O’er the grave where our hero we buried.

Charles Wolfe

8 Replies to “Spain Getaways: San Carlos, A Garden With History”

  1. Muy interesante mi querida amiga y que bueno que sigues escribiendo. Ya tuve el privilegio de estar ahí. Un beso.
    Fantastic story and photos. Ty


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