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Fassnidge Park Hillingdon

Summary

The site was donated to Uxbridge District Council by Kate Fassnidge, widow of landowner Edward Fassnidge who had died in 1921. It was formerly the garden of their Uxbridge house, The Cedars. Originally named The Fassnidge Memorial Recreation Ground, the park is an unusually well-preserved early C20th park and its layout and features are remarkably little changed since opening in October 1926, the first recreation ground dedicated to the public in Uxbridge.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Fassnidge Recreation Ground

Site location:
Rockingham Parade/Oxford Road, Uxbridge

Postcode:
UB8 2UW ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Park

Date(s):
1926

Designer(s):
William Lionel Eves

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Hillingdon

Site ownership:
LB Hillingdon

Site management:
Green Spaces Team. Fassnidge Park Management Advisory Group

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
unrestricted

Special conditions:

Facilities:
Bowling green, play area, skate park, ball court, water play feature

Events:

Public transport:
Tube: Uxbridge (Piccadilly, Metropolitan)

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/01/2011
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.hillingdon.gov.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ051840

Size in hectares:
1.5

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

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:
No

In Conservation Area:
No

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
No

Other LA designation:
Green Chain

Fuller information

Up until the C20th the site of the park, known as Croskey Mead, was used for farming with the River Frays along the east side and Grand Union Canal parallel to the west boundary, although the surrounding area was increasingly developed. In January 1921 the land was sold to Edward Fassnidge of Uxbridge who leased some for allotments and some to Alfred Backer. When Fassnidge died in November 1921, his widow Kate decided to turn the land into a public park as a memorial to her husband, 'for public use and no other, to be free of charge at all times' and stipulated that 'no buildings for sale of intoxicating liquor were to be built therein'. Mrs Fassnidge donated 6 acres for the new park, to the east of which were 2.5 acres acquired from Great Western Railway in 1915. Named The Fassnidge Memorial Recreation Ground, it has little changed since its opening in October 1926. The first recreation ground dedicated to the public in Uxbridge, it was designed by William Lionel Eves, the Uxbridge UDC Surveyor.

The new park was divided into two areas, one for passive recreation to the west with flowerbeds, footpaths, seats and shelters, as well as a bandstand and ornamental fountain and a children's playground to the south. To the east was the active sports area with tennis courts, bowling greens and toilets. Trees and shrubs were planted, including a screening from the boundary with the River Frays footpath, and it was enclosed by railings, with entrances to the north, south and also from the River Frays. Immediately popular, the Fassnidge Bowls Club was founded in 1928 with Mrs Fassnidge its first president. In 1927 the park saw the addition of a block of granite sent from Uxbridge in Massachusetts positioned in the flower bed between the bowling green and tennis court with the inscription: 'To Uxbridge Middlesex. This stone is dedicated on the 200th anniversary of the incorporation of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, June 27th 1927. One race of ancient fame, one tongue, one faith we claim'. Additional facilities provided in later years included a children's play area and refreshment kiosk in the 1950s.

The park today retains its bandstand, drinking fountain, several shelters, serpentine walks, lodge, playground (the only blight on the park being the expanse of tarmac here), mock-Tudor WCs, bowling greens, tennis courts and putting green, although the serpentine paddling pool was infilled and became a flower bed. The putting green is now a skateboard ramp and a multi-sport court has replaced a tennis court. The Ground Keeper's Lodge is now a private residence. The park has notable wrought iron gates beside the Grand Union Canal on Rockingham Parade. Specimen trees include copper beech, Cedars, a cork oak and a good catalpa by the entrance on Rockingham Parade. A plaque on the drinking fountain records the gift of the Fassnidge Memorial Recreation Ground to Uxbridge, 'for the quiet enjoyment and pleasure of its townspeople by Kate Fassnidge, as a memorial to her husband'. An excellent park, now unfortunately cut off from town centre by major roads, including the Cedars roundabout, which was the site of part of the garden of Mrs Fassnidge's house The Cedars, although a Memorial Hall was built in the remainder of her garden.

In 1999 the Fassnidge Management Advisory Group was set up to help manage the park and pursue a Heritage Lottery grant for its restoration. Recently a woodland trail has been set out in the park as part of a 2.5 mile circular walk around the Grand Union Canal, River Frays and Fassnidge Park, with mosaics created by pupils of Uxbridge High School working with local artist Mark Taylor along the woodland path in the park. Fassnidge Park won a Green Flag Award in 2005, and in successive years since then.

Sources consulted:

LB Hillingdon website with park history; LB Hillingdon 'Fassnidge Park Management Plan 2006-2010'/

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