Eaglesfield Park on Shooters Hill is a lofty park with restricted views towards Kent and hints of the City through the trees in the other direction.
A brief history of the area
Woodcot stood on the top of Shooters Hill, surrounded by gardens and with a very large pond. It dated from before 1745 to 1875. Nos 1 and 2 Woodcot Cottages replaced Woodcot and still stand in Cleanthus Close. The pond was filled in and semi-detached houses now stand at 171-181 Shooters Hill Road. The area lies behind the Water Tower on Shooters Hill (built 1910).
The Woolwich Borough Council and the London County Council bought 9 acres here in 1907 because of concern about the expansion of housing and increasing lack of recreational space. Lt Col J J Sexby laid out the park with improvements to an existing pond and paths, and new benches and trees. Eaglesfield Park opened to the public in 1908.
The northern part of Eaglesfield Park
Eaglesfield Road divides the park into two.
The western section is on top of the hill. It is grassland with a children’s playground which in the past was a paddling pool.
The original pond was previously known as The Lily Pond. Over the years the lily pond became overgrown and hardly visible. A group of Friends, the Council, Environmental Wildlife Charities, Groundwork UK and Froglife came together, raised money and the restored pond opened in 2011. The surrounding wildflower meadow was also replanted and railings and paths in the park were upgraded.
The Green Chain Walk crosses this part of the park.
The southern part of the Eaglesfield Park
The lower half is open meadow with a belt of trees bordering the Shooters Hill Golf Course. In July the grass stands tall and there are lots of ripening blackberries around the perimeter. The wildflowers hide in the grass!
Eaglesfield Park on Shooters Hill seems somewhat bleak on its hilltop. Perhaps it was the parched grass. But the mature London plane trees are fine and the meadow is pretty. The park offers clean breezes on hot summer evenings.