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Eel Brook Common Hammersmith & Fulham
   
Summary: Eel Brook Common was formerly manorial waste, much used for pasture and enclosed by a 12-foot ditch. Encroachments for building took place from the late C18th and the District Railway reduced the area in the C19th, but public opposition prevented the Ecclesiastical Commissioners building between Crondace Road and New King's Road. Used for informal recreation, it is shown on a map of 1841 as Fulham Park, extending almost to Parson’s Green. There was political pressure to turn it into public park from 1866 and it was finally transferred to the MBW in 1881. A bandstand was built by 1894, cricket and football pitches provided by 1921and in the late 1920s 2 tennis courts.
Previous / Other name: Eelbrook Common
Site location: New King's Road, Walham Green
Postcode: SW6 > Google Map
Type of site: Public Park
Date(s): 1881
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
Borough: Hammersmith & Fulham
Site ownership: LB Hammersmith & Fulham
Site management: Environment Department, Parks Service (ground maintenance by Quadron Services)
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities: playground, basketball court
Events:
Public transport: Tube: Parsons Green/Fulham Broadway (District). Bus: 22, 11, 28, 295, C4
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/07/2005
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.lbhf.gov.uk

Fuller information:

Eel Brook Common was formerly manorial waste, much used for pasture and enclosed by a 12-foot ditch. The name is probably derived from 'Hillbrook', meaning a hill with a brook, rather than a brook with eels. Encroachments for building took place in the late C18th and later building of the District Railway reduced the area, but public opposition prevented the Ecclesiastical Commissioners building on the land between Crondace Road and New Kings Road. Informal recreational use developed in the C19th; it is shown on a map of 1841 as Fulham Park. At this time it extended almost as far west as Parson’s Green.

There was political pressure for it to be made into public park from 1866 and it was finally transferred to the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1881 along with Brook Green (q.v.), acquired under the Metropolitan Commons Supplemental Act 1881. There was a bandstand by 1894, marked on the OS of 1893-94 and a wooden shelter and lodge were erected in the early C20th, the latter used as a café for a time, later boarded up. It was formerly crossed by a number of footpaths, but these were altered in 1921 in order to provide ground for cricket and football. By the 1920s two hard tennis courts had been provided and formal paths had been constructed by 1948. Landscaping is mainly grass with mature London plane trees along paths and around the perimeter. A nursery school built on the site of former public conveniences was demolished in 2003, and two multi-use sports pitches installed, with new paving, planting and grass areas at the Effie Road entrance. The entrance from New King's Road has also been upgraded. The northern part of the park is now dominated by all-weather pitches with high wire mesh fences. There are two under 5 play areas and a play area towards the south west partly shielded by shrubs and pampas grass. The early C20th wooden shelter and a derelict lodge remain in the east corner.

Sources consulted:

F Barker and P Jackson 'The History of London in Maps' 1990 Barrie & Jenkins [map of 181 on page 112]. LB Hammersmith & Fulham Archives Dept, 'A note on the open spaces of Fulham and Hammersmith', 1974 p6; John Archer, Daniel Keech 'Nature Conservation in Hammersmith & Fulham', Ecology Handbook 25, London Ecology Unit, 1993 p62; 'The London County Council and what it does for London: London Parks and Open Spaces' (Hodder & Stoughton, 1924); The Parks Agency, 'Commons, Heaths and Greens in Greater London, A short report for English Heritage' (2005)
Grid ref: TQ254768
Size in hectares: 7.44
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
Yes: Common (CL13)
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: Yes
Conservation Area name: Parsons Green
Tree Preservation Order: No
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Local Importance
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation: Local Park; Open Space of Borough-wide Importance
   

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