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Avery Hill Park Greenwich
   
Summary: Avery Hill Park was formed from parkland of Col. John North's Victorian mansion, Avery Hill, built for him c1888. By 1891 his estate was over 270ha, including land now known as Shooters Hill Woodlands, which was used partly for shooting and some let for farming. On his death in 1896 the estate was auctioned, much of it eventually purchased in 1902 by the LCC, some land remaining in private usage. Avery Hill Park was opened in 1903/04 and includes remains of the gardens close to the house and wider parkland with some fine trees. The mansion and its Winter Garden are in separate ownership of University of Greenwich. The old East Lodge remains at the park entrance on Bexley Road, while the West Lodge provides the main entrance to the University.
Previous / Other name:
Site location: Avery Hill Road/Bexley Road, Eltham
Postcode: SE9 > Google Map
Type of site: Public Park
Date(s): 1880s, 1903/04
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
Borough: Greenwich
Site ownership: RB Greenwich
Site management: Parks and Open Spaces Department; Friends of Avery Hill Park
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted.
Special conditions:
Facilities: Cricket, football, rugby, children's playground, café, toilets.
Events:
Public transport: Rail: Eltham then bus; New Eltham then bus. Bus:132, 162, 286, B13.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/12/2006
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

Fuller information:

The public park was formed from the former parkland that formed the grounds of Colonel John North's Victorian mansion, Avery Hill (q.v.). Colonel North, born in Leeds in 1842, went to Peru and built up his empire in coal, nitrates, water, cement, steel, railways and gold and became dubbed 'The Nitrate King'. He came to Eltham in 1882 and initially rented Avery Hill and 20 acres of land. By 1891 his estate was over 270 ha. and stretched from Shooters Hill to New Eltham taking in large tracts of open land now collectively known as Shooter Hill Woodlands (q.v.) including Oxleas Wood, Shepherdleas Wood, Eltham Park and Eltham Warren. His Avery Hill parkland was used partly for shooting and some was let for farming. On his death in 1896 the estate was auctioned, much of it eventually purchased in 1902 by London County Council. Some land was let out for farming or other private usage.

Avery Hill Park was opened to the public in 1903/04 and includes remains of the gardens close to the house; parkland features include clumps of Corsican pine, standard oak and sycamore; shrubs, yews, specimen trees, and Cedar of Lebanon nearer house. Park buildings include a brick and tile public conveniences and café. The site boundary with Bexley Road retains the C19th brick wall within which are specimen trees and shrubs, and two lodges, the West Lodge having a picturesque French chateau-style roof and archway. The East Lodge remains at the park entrance on Bexley Road, while the West Lodge provides the main entrance to the University of Greenwich. A rockery has been created on the lawns south of the Conservatory, which houses the Winter Garden, which is in separate ownership of the University. Beyond are mainly playing fields, with the River Shuttle running through the park. Some old hedgerows may be around 600 years old.

Sources consulted:

Sue Swales, Meg Game, Ian Yarham, 'Nature Conservation in Greenwich', Ecology Handbook 10 (London Ecology Unit), 1989; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993).
Grid ref: TQ442742
Size in hectares: 35.96 inc 7.9 nurseries
   
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: No
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Borough Importance I (south fields)
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: Yes - Area of Special Character of Metropolitan Importance
Other LA designation: Green Chain (on Green Chain Walk)
   

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