Dean Gardens were once part of Ealing Dene Common, where donkey and pony racing took place as part of the annual Ealing Fair, which may have been why it was known as Jackass Common. In 1832 part of the common was divided into allotment gardens. In 1909, at the instigation of local residents, Ealing Town Council agreed to convert an area fronting Uxbridge Road into pleasure gardens, for which allotment tenants received compensation. By 1910/11 the new park had been laid out with ornamental trees and shrubs, a perimeter path with seating and a number of beds. Between the wars for some years a tank was displayed in the park.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/10/2010
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Dean Gardens were once part of Ealing Dene Common, which was on both sides of what is now Northfield Avenue. Livestock were grazed here, and the Ealing Races were held on the common as part of the annual Ealing Fair on Ealing Green (q.v.), and the donkey and pony racing may have been why Ealing Dene Common was also known as Jackass Common. The popular Fair took place over 3 days in late June from at least 1809 until 1880 when it was discontinued following complaints that it encouraged vice and moral laxity. This was possibly not unconnected to the fact that the area had become a respectable middle-class suburb. In 1832 part of Ealing Dene Common was divided into allotment gardens and given to the poor by the Bishop of London who owned the land. In 1909 a number of the local residents wrote to Ealing Town Council asking their consideration of turning the frontage along Uxbridge Road for 'a depth of 250 - 300 feet' into a pleasure garden that would be 'of great benefit to the residents of West Ealing and would tend to improve the status of that district'. As a result, it was agreed that an area of 3 acres 128 feet deep from Uxbridge Road be converted to pleasure gardens, and the tenants of the 25 allotments received compensation; additional land for allotments was also purchased by the Council. The Ealing Pound was also removed from the site when the park was created.
By 1910/11 the new park had been laid out with 'a considerable number of ornamental trees and shrubs planted' and ornamental fencing on Uxbridge Road and Northfield Avenue frontage, which had artificial stone coping and pier caps manufactured at Southern Sewage Works in the borough. A drinking fountain, the gift of Miss Jeaffreson, an Ealing resident, was erected near the centre. The original layout in the Borough Surveyor's proposal consisted of a perimeter path with seating and a number of beds, the whole surrounded by a 'New Unclimbable Iron Fence'. In 1927 the park was described by Mrs Jackson, author of 'The Annals of Ealing' as a 'gay little garden . . with its pleasant seats, is a rest and refreshment of age and weariness, but it is even a greater boon to the laughing little ones, who make it a fascinating nursery, safe from the traffic of the streets.' Between the wars a tank was displayed in the park for some years.
The park is now crossed by a number of paths and has a children's playground, and re-landscaping in recent years has included a series of pergolas at the entrances along Uxbridge Road. The north-west corner of the gardens has been encroached by a new road scheme.
Charles Jones, 'A Decade of Progress 1901-1911'; Middlesex County Times 12/6/1909, 31/7/1909, 11/11/1911, 18/6/1927; Peter Hounsell, 'Ealing and Hanwell Past' (Historical Publications, 1991); Peter Hounsell, 'The Ealing Book' (Historical Publications, 2005).