Deptford Park in Lewisham

London Gardens Online describes this park as follows: ‘…Located near the river, the site was once market gardens on the estate owned by the Evelyn family, and was particularly famous for its onions, celery and asparagus. In 1884 the land was purchased for a public park by the LCC, who paid two-thirds of the purchase cost. Deptford Park was opened on 7 June 1897 by the LCC Chairman, Dr W J Collins. The layout was by Lt Col J J Sexby, Chief Officer of the Parks Department, and included several built features that no longer survive. The entrance on Evelyn Street has iron gates and railings and a short avenue of London plane trees, and the structural planting and design is largely intact with a perimeter walk, and perimeter planting of mature London planes…’.

John Evelyn (1620-1706) first owned the land in this area which was used for market gardening at that time. According to the Deptford Park Masterplan it is stated ‘…This area of Deptford had seen considerable change during the 1800’s with the proliferation of railway lines, the building of the Surrey Canal and continued activity in the dockyards until 1869 when it closed, only to be replaced with a foreign cattle market. The railways enabled more mobility and with them the rapid spread of house building and population growth. LCC [London County Council], noting that if the land was not acquired and turned into a public park it was likely to be developed for buildings, secured the funding to purchase the land and developed the park…’.

There are several entrances to the park these days in addition to the entrance described on LGO from Evelyn Street . Near to this entrance is a space is planted like an orchard with quince and apple trees. This new orchard opens on to the perimeter walk which is still planted with plane trees, now mature. And opposite the orchard is an outdoor gym and a play area for children.

The small fruit orchard
Quince tree
The perimeter walk in Deptford Park adjacent to the new fruit orchard
The outdoor gym and children’s play area
Children’s play area, Deptford Park

The entrance from the north side, on Scawen Street, joins the perimeter walk which continues between an avenue of mature plane trees. Looking out from under the trees over the park one sees a rose garden which will be pretty in a few weeks’ time. And even here there are ring-necked parakeets!

The entrance off Scawen Road, on the north side of the park
The perimeter walk in Deptford Park
The rose garden in Deptford Park
Ring-necked parakeets in Deptford Park
Plane tree starting to leaf in Deptford Park

Half way along the west side of the park a small entrance opens to the houses along the continuation of Scawen Road, and at the end of this section is another entrance, on the corner of Scawen and Grinstead Roads. From this side of the park one looks over the playing fields towards the tower blocks of Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs. 

Canary Wharf as seen from Deptford Park

And at the bottom end of Grinstead Road, near the junction with Evelyn Street is another entrance.

The plane trees on the perimeter walk along the Grinstead Road

This is a generous, peaceful and beautiful park off a busy main road and well worth visiting!

London Gardens Online
The Evelyn Estate in Deptford

Deptford Park in Lewisham
Deptford Park Masterplan

4 thoughts on “Deptford Park in Lewisham

  1. Great post Candy and David found it very interesting as it was close to where he used to work! Love the parakeet shots these birds!

    1. I am pleased you like it! Parakeets (also known as parasqueeks!) are all over SE London – a couple even nested in our eaves last year. I think I am going to enjoy exploring the green spaces in Lewisham and I plan to post once a week – with the occasional gap. It should keep me busy for well over a year!

      1. Brilliant every time we are in London I always go to Kensington Gardens with an apple to feed the parakeets by hand they are so tame there! David said be sure to visit Mayo Park, Hornimans and Honor Oak Park too…his favourite local parks to where he lived!

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