Brookmill Park in Lewisham

London Gardens Online tells me that ‘…Brookmill Park in Lewisham originated as a small recreation ground provided from 1880 near the Kent Waterworks’ reservoir by the River Ravensbourne. It was expanded in the 1920s when part of the disused reservoir was infilled, and opened as Brookmill Park. Some evidence of the reservoir remains, much reduced in size, as the small oval lake still found in the park. When nearby housing was destroyed by WWII bombing, the park was further extended, re-opening in 1951 as Ravensbourne Park.

When Deptford and Lewisham amalgamated to form Lewisham in 1965, the park reverted to its earlier name. It was again re-landscaped when the DLR was constructed, necessitating re-routing of the Ravensbourne, and former Thames Water gardens were added, now a formal garden with pond, pergolas, ornamental beds and hedges. The park was re-opened in 1998…’. (2012 and no photographs).

Broadway Fields in Lewisham

Two parks, Broadway Fields and Brookmill Park, lie between Deptford Bridge and Elverson Road and run parallel to Brookmill Road. The Lewisham Council’s website tells me that ‘…The fields used to be known as the Deptford Municipal Playing Fields. They were opened in 1932 on a piece of land next to the Kent Water Works…’. I believe that Broadway Fields in Lewisham was laid out in c.2002. 


Friendly Gardens in Lewisham

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

Bridgehouse Meadows in Lewisham was a completely new park for me and because it is hidden away I haven’t even driven past it.

Hatcham Gardens in New Cross

Lewisham Council’s site tells me that ‘…Hatcham Gardens is part of the North Lewisham Links project. The design was drawn up after consultation with local people including children at the local Kender Primary School, which borders Hatcham Gardens. Access [to] the gardens via Kender Street and Pomeroy Street…’

The Park reopened in 2010 after a redesign by London firm East and their website tells me ‘…the remodeling of the park includes planting of 40 Albizia trees replacing existing patches of tarmac and fencing; two large sandpits; new custom-made furniture and play equipment in galvanized steel, including swings, climbing equipment and roundabouts; a water fountain; an area for playing Boules; and a meadow area…’.

Eckington Gardens in New Cross

Eckington Gardens in New Cross was the next park on my list!

Charlottenburg Park in New Cross

The Mulally website tells us that ‘…Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham officially opened the new Charlottenburg Park on Saturday 3rd September. This new park was constructed by Mulalley on the former Deptford Green school site in Amersham Vale and was named, following a public poll, in honour of Lewisham’s twinning arrangement with Charlottenburg in Berlin, which seems a rather curious ‘twin’…

Margaret McMillan Park in Deptford

London Gardens Online tells me: ‘…The park is named after Margaret McMillan who with her sister Rachel McMillan were pioneers of nursery education. Margaret McMillan Park opened in 1954 and was originally laid out between Watson’s Street and Glenville Grove with a series of lawns along Douglas Way. In the late 1980s part of the park was eroded by housing development and in 1998 improvements were carried out to the park, including a bridge by sculptor John Maine. In 2009 the park was redesigned and re-landscaped as part of Route 1 of the North Lewisham Links project, the works completed in 2010…’.

Fordham Park in New Cross

The Borough of Lewisham owns and manages Fordham Park in New Cross. Back in 1619 James 1 owned the land. Today Clifton Rise leads from the main New Cross road into one side of the Park. This was Wolve Acre Lane’ in 1619 when the area was farmland.

Sue Godfrey Nature Reserve

The Lewisham Council website tells us that ‘…The park was originally named Bronze Street Nature Park. It was renamed [Sue Godfrey Nature Reserve] in 1994 in memory of Sue Godfrey…’, a local resident and environmental campaigner. She was instrumental in rescuing the park and played a vital role in life on the adjacent Crossfield Estate.

‘…Two years later, the ashes of Roy Ramsey, another environmental campaigner, were gently interred here. Both were much loved and it is to be hoped that, by keeping their memory alive, the nature park’s survival for future generations of wildlife and people will be ensured…’.

Sue Godfrey Nature Reserve
Memorial Plaque in the Nature Reserve