Brent Park was opened to the public in 1934. It is on the site of Brent Bridge House, demolished in 1935, whose grounds contained Decoy Wood and a small stream forming a narrow lake, with the house situated at the southern tip. The lake was created as a duck decoy and the farmland surrounding it was known as Decoy Farm. A stretch of the lake remains, crossed in the north by a rustic bridge, with a perimeter walk between thickly wooded banks, with some mature evergreen specimens surviving close to the site of the former house.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2002
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Brent Park, Lake, July 2000. Photo S Williams
Click photo to enlarge.
Brent Park is on the site of Brent Bridge House, the grounds of which are shown on the OS map of 1875 as comprising Decoy Wood and a small stream forming a narrow serpentine lake, with the house situated at the southern tip. The lake was created as a duck decoy, possibly as long as 1,000 years ago by Abbots of Westminster, and the farmland surrounding it was known as Decoy Farm. The North Circular Road now abuts the site on its eastern side, and C20th residential development has encroached on the perimeters. A stretch of the lake remains traversed at its northern tip by a bridge of rustic stonework, with a perimeter walk between thickly wooded banks, with some mature evergreen specimens surviving close to the site of the former house, which was demolished in 1935.
Brent Park opened to the public in 1934 and is entered in the south via a small entrance tucked away off Brent Street and leads to a wooded path along the stream; a small circular dilapidated pavilion with a tiled roof is hidden among the trees near this entrance. Old iron railings border the park on Brent Street over the stream, which then flows into a culvert the other side of the road, south of Brent Park. The wooded path runs on the west side of the stream at first, alongside new housing and lawns, to a small timber bridge. The path then continues on the east side, dominated by the sound of the North Circular Road. This area feels distinctly abandoned, a scrubby landscape with much rosebay willowherb, blackberries, nettles etc. but also some very large mature trees. The park proper begins just south of the small lake, which has a tarmac path around it with some seating, new notices and low wooden railings edging the path, plus information boards about the wildfowl. There are small areas of mown grass with benches/bins to the north, and throughout some interesting trees have been planted, including swamp cypress.
Jan Hewlett, Ian Yarham, David Curson, 'Nature Conservation in Barnet' (London Ecology Unit, 1997).