Deptford Park in SE London

Deptford Park in SE London was once part of John Evelyn’s estate, and a well-known market garden. Today it affords exercise and leisure opportunities to local people, adults and children alike.

The history of Deptford Park

London expanded rapidly in the second half of the 19C. The London County Council realised Deptford would soon be completely built up and so it bought land from the Evelyn Family to create Deptford Park. This area was previously market gardens, known for its onions, celery, and asparagus. Lt Col J J Sexby, Chief Officer of Parks of the LCC, notes that the family sold the land at £2,100/acre, (a total of c.£36,000) which was below market value, and also made a further donation of additional land. Lt Col Sexby laid out the park of 17 acres which opened on 7 June 1897.

‘…perhaps ‘park’ is too grandiloquent. It is really a recreation ground of simple design, consisting principally of a central playground, surrounded by a broad walk for promenade, with well-planted margins…’.

Lt Col J J Sexby, The Municipal Parks, Greens, and Open Spaces of London, London, Eliot Stock, 1905, page 123

The original layout ‘…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…’.

London Gardens Online, April 2012

Entrances to the park

There are several entrances to the park these days in addition to the entrance described on LGO from Evelyn Street.


The Community Orchard

Quince, apple, and pear trees are planted in the little community orchard. The gap in the housing is the result of bombing in WWII.


The perimeter walk in Spring and Autumn

Perimeter walk in Deptford Park in SE London
The perimeter walk in Deptford Park adjacent to the new fruit orchard
Spring in the perimeter walk in Deptford Park in SE London
Spring in the perimeter walk in Deptford Park
London Plane trees leaning over the perimeter walk in Deptford Park in SE London
London Plane trees leaning over the perimeter walk
London Plane trees on the perimeter walk in Deptford Park in SE London
Exercising along the perimeter and under the Plane trees

Facilities in Deptford Park in SE London

The park has an outdoor gym and a play area for children and both seem to be well used.

Children’s play area in Deptford Park in SE London
Children’s play area, Deptford Park in Spring

Views in Deptford Park in SE London

Looking out from under the trees over the park one sees a rose garden which will be pretty in the summer. And even here there are ring-necked parakeets!

Rose garden in Deptford Park in SE London
The rose garden in Deptford Park
Parakeets in Deptford Park in SE London
Ring-necked parakeets in Deptford Park

From the Scawen Road side of the park, near the Primary School, you look over the playing fields towards the tower blocks of Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs. 

Deptford Park in SE London in spring, looking towards Canary Wharf
Deptford Park in spring, looking towards Canary Wharf
Deptford Park in SE London in autumn
And the same view in autumn!

Deptford Park in SE London is a generous, peaceful and beautiful park off a busy main road and well worth visiting!

Sources
London Gardens Online
The Evelyn Estate in Deptford

Deptford Park in Lewisham
Deptford Park Masterplan

4 thoughts on “Deptford Park in SE London

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