Telegraph Hill Park in Lewisham is in two parts – south and north, or upper and lower – and separated by Kitto Road. My first visit was to the South Park (Upper) last week and today I cross the road to walk in Lower Telegraph Hill Park in Lewisham (North Park).
Upper Telegraph Hill Park is closer to where I live but I don’t know it! London Gardens Online tells me that ‘…Telegraph Hill Park in Lewisham is in two parts, an upper park in the south, and a lower park in the north, divided by Kitto Road. It incorporates the site of one of the Admiralty’s C18th semaphore stations, which was in use until 1815, from which the park gets its name. The Managing Director of the Metropolitan Gas Co. decided that the area needed a park and £2,000 with similar amounts from the LCC and Greenwich Board of Works. With this money they bought the land from the Haberdashers’ Company.
The park opened on 6 April 1895 with a bandstand, ponds and elaborate walks, perimeter planting and a perimeter walk. A shelter and toilets were added later in the northern park, and tennis courts were built on the site of the semaphore station in the south part, which has magnificent views. And recently the park was restored through a grant from the HLF…’.
Today’s Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham was first called Lewisham Cemetery. The Cemetery ‘…was opened by Lewisham Burial Board on a plot of agricultural land purchased from the Trustees of the Earl of Dartmouth. A competition to design the cemetery was won by Messrs Tinkler and Morphew, who were also appointed by Deptford Burial Board who had bought a plot of adjacent land for its own cemetery. ( London Gardens Online)
A cemetery as a garden? Brockley Cemetery in SE London is an old, quiet and peaceful burial ground which has become a wild garden or even a nature reserve. And there is no reason why a sacred site should not be a true Garden of Remembrance.
St Margaret’s Square in Lewisham is a rather odd green space on Adelaide Avenue. London Gardens Online lists the square but Lewisham Council does not recognise St Margaret’s Square.
Hilly Fields Park in SE London, in the Borough of Lewisham, is another wonderful park. And it is yet again a green space, previously countryside, which has been preserved as the city has expanded thanks to campaigning by local people.
Brookmill Park and Broadway Fields in Lewisham are in the Ravensbourne River valley, between the DLR railway stations at Deptford Bridge and Elverson Road. The parks are a wonderful respite from the busy surrounding roads, railway lines, and DLR trains. And Brookmill Park in particular is home to some surprising wildlife!
Two parks, Broadway Fields in Lewisham and Brookmill Park, also in Lewisham, lie between Deptford Bridge and Elverson Road and run parallel to Brookmill Road. This is a park which was created for young people after consultation with the local community, and as such a facility it is successful.
The Lewisham Council site tells me that Friendly Gardens in Lewisham has a dog exercice area and a playground, and that the two parts of the gardens are separated by the railway line, while LGO does not list the gardens at all. In 2014 The Brockley Central Blogspot describes the park as ‘…Perhaps the most mistreated of the Brockley parks, Friendly Gardens is a pleasant slope of grass running parallel with Friendly Street and Lucas Street. A little too small and vertiginous for many people to spend much time in and often blighted by litter, it is a pretty spot which nonetheless sometimes has a touch of Kes about it…’. Fortunately there is now a Friends of Friendly Gardens and obviously I needed to take a look!
Bridgehouse Meadows in Lewisham is one of the many little parks along the railway lines in Lewisham, and like all the others it has an interesting history. And just like many of the other parks this one hides away behind housing – you can’t drive past it – and so it was a new discovery for me.