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Elthorne Park and Elthorne Waterside Ealing
   
Summary: By the early C20th Hanwell's population had rapidly grown and Hanwell UDC, keen to make provision for public open space, approached the owner of Osterley Park, Lord Jersey in 1907. He offered a 7.5 acre site, then leased out. Due to the pressing need for a place for children to play the Council requested temporary use of the site while negotiations were in progress, to which Lord Jersey agreed. Elthorne Park was officially opened on 11 June 1910 by Lady Jersey accompanied by her son Lord Villiers. Among its facilities were a bandstand that remains today and a drinking fountain. The layout included lime and horse chestnut trees planted on the lawn, open lawns with an axial walk, and floral displays. The park abuts Elthorne Waterside on the River Brent, which was created in the 1970s and is managed for nature conservation.
Previous / Other name:
Site location: Boston Road, Hanwell
Postcode: W7 > Google Map
Type of site: Public Park
Date(s): 1910, 1970s
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
Borough: Ealing
Site ownership: LB Ealing
Site management: Leisure & Parks Service
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities: Playground, tennis courts, football pitches. Elthorne Waterside: car park
Events: Hanwell Carnival and other events
Public transport: Tube: Boston Manor (Piccadilly) then bus. Bus: E8.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/10/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.ealing.gov.uk/services/environment/parks_and_open_spaces

Fuller information:

By the early C20th the population of Hanwell had more than doubled in ten years, as a result of which Hanwell Urban District Council was endeavouring to make provision for open spaces for the children of the neighbourhood to play in. In September 1907 the Council decided to negotiate for a suitable space and approached Lord Jersey, owner of Osterley Park (q.v.) and one of the original members of Middlesex County Council when it was formed. In July 1908 Lord Jersey, 'also anxious to promote the prosperity and welfare of the community . . . had been glad to do his part, and meet their representatives half-way'. He offered the Council, for the sum of £4,500, a 'magnificent site' of seven and a half acres, then leased to a Mrs Goodenough. The total cost to create the recreation ground was £5,400, with Middlesex County Council contributing £1,162.10s. However, the need for somewhere for the children to play was so pressing that the Council requested temporary use of the ground while the negotiations were in progress, to which Lord Jersey agreed. As a result the park was used for some time before it was officially opened.

The opening date was postponed as a result of the death of King Edward the day before it was due to take place, and Elthorne Park was finally opened on 11 June 1910, the events officiated by Lady Jersey accompanied by her son Lord Villiers. A newspaper report of the occasion described it as a 'very successful function' remarking that 'the felicity of the whole of the proceedings was unqualified except by the undue length of the speech-making'.

Among its facilities were a bandstand that remains today and a drinking fountain, and it is bounded by railings, with iron gates and brick gate piers. To the south-east are lime and horse chestnut trees scattered on the lawn and at the north-west are open lawns with an axial walk. Inside the main entrance is a circular floral display with central bed and surrounding rose beds.

At the far end, the park leads to Elthorne Waterside down to River Brent, which is now part of the Brent River Park. This was created in the 1970s and is managed for nature conservation; improvement works c.2001 include pond restoration, creation of a water-filled ditch and bank habitat, with a sloping meadow area and a woodland site created. Brent River Park was created in 1976 following proposals by the Brent River and Canal Society, which was established in 1973 to set up a linear park and improve the Brent Valley river corridor. Brent River Park covers 400 hectares along its 7km length, and includes formal parks such as Brent Lodge Park, Churchfields Recreation Ground, and Pitshanger Park (q.q.v.) and open space, golf courses, sports grounds, allotments and privately owned land. Brent River Park received £400,000 in 2009 under the Mayor of London's Priority Parks scheme, which was matched by £487,000 from Ealing Council. Improvement projects are underway in the various parks and open spaces that come under Brent River Park.

Sources consulted:

Middlesex County Times 28/5/1910, 18/6/1910.
Grid ref: TQ159794
Size in hectares: 4.04 (+ extension of 15.32)
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
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: No
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Elthorne Waterside
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: Yes
Special Policy Area: Yes - Archaelogical Interest Area
Other LA designation:
   

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