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London Gardens Online


Central Park Barking & Dagenham


Central Park was laid out on a site purchased by Dagenham Borough Council in 1928, and opened in 1932; facilities included a putting green, miniature golf course, pavilion and tennis grounds. The Civic Centre opened in October 1937 with its Council Chamber overlooking the park. Extensive plans for the park, including formal planting near the Civic Centre, were disrupted by WWII and never completed. Facilities added over the years include the Old People’s Garden, a children’s playground (1952), and a new Bowling Green. A Memorial Garden was opened in 2006.

Basic Details

Site location:
Wood Lane/Rainham Road North, Dagenham, Essex

RM7/RM8 ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Park


?Borough Surveyor and Engineer

Listed structures:
LBII: Civic Centre

Barking & Dagenham

Site ownership:
LB Barking & Dagenham

Site management:
Parks & Countryside Ranger Service

Open to public?

Opening times:
7.15am - dusk

Special conditions:
Charges for some sports activities

Toilets, children's playground, football and rugby pitches, hurling pitch, tennis and basketball courts, 18-hole pitch & putt, bowling green

Since 1952 the Dagenham Town Show has been held in Central Park

Public transport:
Tube: Dagenham East, Dagenham Heathway (District) then bus. Rail: Romford then bus. Bus: 5, 87, 103, 128, 129, 173, 175, 499

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2009
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Further Information

Grid ref:

Size in hectares:

Green Flag:

On EH National Register :

EH grade:

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:

In Conservation Area:

Tree Preservation Order:

Nature Conservation Area:

Green Belt:

Metropolitan Open Land:

Special Policy Area:

Other LA designation:

Central Park

Central Park, Wood Lane entrance, November 1999. Photo: S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

Fuller information

Central Park, part of which lies in Romford, is a large flat stretch of open grassland with a range of sporting facilities. Created on land once part of Eastbrook Farm and in the vicinity of Becontree Heath, there is evidence on the site of prehistoric crop marks and Roman archaeology, possibly a Roman villa. The 135 acre site was purchased by Dagenham Borough Council by Special Act of Parliament in 1928, and opened to the public in 1932, with facilities such as a putting green, miniature golf course, pavilion and tennis grounds. The Art Deco Civic Centre designed by architect E. Barry Webber was opened in October 1937; the semi-circular Council Chamber at the rear looks out over Central Park. A Coronation Avenue of Trees was planted on 22/10/1937. Extensive plans for the park, which included formal planting in the vicinity of the Civic Centre, were disrupted by World War II and never completed.

In the 1940s Dagenham Borough Council appointed landscape architect Richard Sudell, FILA, as consultant to plan parks and open spaces in Dagenham; his plans for Central Park (November 1948) included a children’s play park, rose garden, old people’s corner, swimming hall and restaurant, cricket ground, open air theatre and mothers’ garden, the majority of which were not implemented. Similarly a plan in the early 1950s for an open-air roller skating rink for children was not carried out. However, various facilities were added over the years, such as the Old People’s Garden, a children’s playground opened by the Mayor in March 1952 costing an estimated £3,255, and a new Bowling Green. A new Memorial Garden was opened in 2006 on land that was once designated as a site for a new library; the garden includes colourful furniture, and was designed with input from an artist.

Sources consulted:

Andrew Crowe, 'The Parks and Woodlands of London' (Fourth Estate, 1987); Dagenham Digest June 1950 & March 1955

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