|Barra Hall Park||Hillingdon|
Barra Hall Park was formerly the grounds of Barra Hall, a Jacobean-style mansion built in 1872 and originally called Grove Lodge. In 1923 Hayes and Harlington UDC acquired the site, using the mansion as its Town Hall. The grounds became a public park, for a time known as Town Hall Park. By 1928 the park had a cast iron bandstand, cast iron shelter together with other facilities. An open-air theatre in the park became derelict and in c.2005 was later by a modern theatre.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/01/2011
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Barra Hall Park adjoins the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin (q.v.) and was formerly the grounds of Barra Hall, a Jacobean-style mansion built in 1872 and originally called Grove Lodge. Alderman Harvey Coombe, later Lord Mayor of London, lived here in the late C18th. In 1871 Robert Reid purchased the house; an auctioneer and surveyor, he claimed to be a descendent of the Reids of Barra and consequently changed the name of the house to Barra Hall. He enlarged and refaced the building in 1875. After his death in 1921 his son sold the property to a foundation of nuns.
On 20 December 1923 Hayes and Harlington Urban District Council purchased Barra Hall and its grounds for £5,700 from Ethel Penfold, using the house as its Town Hall, the grounds becoming a public park. The ornamental iron gates on Church Walk still have the inscription 'Hayes and Harlington Town Hall'. Initially known as Town Hall Park, facilities included a playground, tennis courts and a paddling pool; it was opened on 23 February 1924 by Jessie Matthews, a well known star of the music hall . When Hayes UDC was integrated into the new LB Hillingdon in 1965, the old Town Hall was no longer required as such although it remained in council use. Since October 2005, following refurbishment, the house has been used as a SureStart Children's Centre.
Landscaping in the park includes a notable horse chestnut walk, remains of yew shrubbery with holm oak and cedar near Barra Hall, one or two good parkland trees, Scots pine, walnut and a number of oaks. A Rose Garden was created near the house, recently refurbished through the work of the Barra Hall Regeneration Committee and local residents, and is surrounded by low, scalloped brick walling with pergola entrances. There was a successful open-air theatre in the park but this later became disused and derelict. The Regeneration Committee had plans to restore it and it now been replaced with a modern theatre. Now renamed Barra Hall Community Development Committee, the group continues to conserve the park and its facilities, including the hall. The park won a Green Flag Award in 2008 and in subsequent years. The film 'Bend it Like Beckham' was filmed here.
Barra Hall Park 'Summer In the Park' 2001 programme, Barra Hall Regeneration Committee, 2001; LB Hillingdon, 'Hillingdon's Green Spaces' (c.2008); LB Hillingdon 'Barra Hall Park Management Plan 2008-2011'