|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.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2009
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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.
Central Park, Wood Lane entrance, November 1999. Photo: S Williams
Click photo to enlarge.
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.
Andrew Crowe, 'The Parks and Woodlands of London' (Fourth Estate, 1987); Dagenham Digest June 1950 & March 1955