The A2 and the railway line divides Eltham Park into Eltham Park North and Eltham Park South.
In 1899 Archibald Corbett bought the Eltham Park Estate. He paid £50,000 for 334 acres of land, including the mansion and farm buildings. The Bexleyheath railway line had opened in 1895 and Corbett anticipated there would be a demand for new housing.
The Eltham Estate was built between 1900-1914. Like his housing development in Hither Green in Lewisham he built churches but no pubs as he disapproved of alcohol. He won a legal tussle with the railway company and a second station opened on the Bexleyheath line in 1908 to service the estate, the Shooters Hill and Eltham Station. The station building still stands on Westmount Road, next to the railway line and the A2 road. The demand for new houses stopped with the outbreak of WWI. So Corbett sold 41 acres to the local council and this became Eltham Park South.
Eltham Park Lido opened in 1924. The Eltham Training and Swimming Club which undertook long-distance swims, including cross-Channel events trained at the lido. This was the club which trained Tom Gregory who swam the Channel when he was 11 years old. The lido closed in 1988 for two reasons: the council cut spending and the new A2 road was causing subsidence.
Today Eltham Park South is mown grassland with an avenue of trees alongside The Warren Golf Club. It is open and pleasant, with views to Shooters Hill, but the sound of traffic on the A2 is constantly in the background. A footbridge over the A2 joins the south park to the north park.
For just a few short weeks in the year the avenue of cherry trees is glorious!
Facilities in Eltham Park South
The cafe is very popular and there is a children’s play ground. Adults have outdoor gym gear and there are tennis courts and all-purpose courts as well as soccer pitches. There is also a free car park.
Eltham Park South is good for a refreshing walk. And, if you have time, use the footbridge to cross the A2 and continue through Eltham Park North.