Downham Fields

Downham Fields in SE London

Downham Fields in SE London was also called Durham Hill and I found the park when I was walking in South East London. It is one of the surprising, and perhaps unlikely large green areas – a large green park, on a steep hillside, with beautiful trees and far views over London.

Downham Woodland Walk in South East London

Downham Woodland Walk in South East London is Ancient Woodland which hides away behind the houses on the Downham Estate, and close to more Ancient Woodland in the Forster Memorial Park.

Mountsfield Park in Lewisham

Mountsfield Park in Lewisham is another surprise in my quest to visit all the parks and gardens in the Borough of Lewisham. Driving along the main roads gives one no idea of this wonderful park hidden behind the rows of Victorian housing. But step off the bus, and walk down a side road, and you are suddenly in a peaceful green space.

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Park in Lewisham

Six Parks in Lewisham

I am visiting all the parks and nature reserves in South East London, starting with a new park in Lewisham every week. This week, for Six on Saturday, I would like to show you six parks in which I have particularly enjoyed over the Autumn.

Telegraph Hill Park in Lewisham

Lower Telegraph Hill Park in Lewisham

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).

Telegraph Hill Park in Lewisham

Upper Telegraph Hill 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…’.

Wickham Gardens in Lewisham

London Gardens Online tells me that ‘…Wickham Gardens in Lewisham is a cul-de-sac off Wickham Road, the houses surrounding a garden that was protected under the London Squares and Enclosures (Preservation) Act 1906, which prohibited building on the enclosure.

Ladywell Cemetery in Lewisham

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)

Brockley Cemetery

Years ago a cemetery would have been an unlikely place to include amongst gardens, but as the years have passed they are increasingly seen to have potential as wild gardens as well as gardens of remembrance. Brockley Cemetery in Lewisham certainly fits this bill. The two cemeteries, Brockley and Ladywell, cover an area of 37 acres in total and I am going to talk about them over two posts.

St Margaret’s Square in Lewisham

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.