The site was formerly within the grounds of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lambeth Palace and in the late C19th the 'local poor' were given limited public access to what became known as Lambeth Palace Field. Following a campaign for it to have unrestricted opening, in 1900 a licence was granted by the Church Commissioners for it to become a public park, which was laid out and opened in 1901. Various facilities have been added over the years, including a garden area dedicated to Octavia Hill and a community orchard was planted in 2010.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.lambeth.gov.uk; www.wcdg.org.uk/foap
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.
Click photo to enlarge.
Archbishop's Park was once part of the Bishop of Carlisle's land that was later incorporated into the grounds of Lambeth Palace (q.v.), which has been the London residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury since the C13th. From the late C19th c.9 acres of the Palace Gardens were opened for the benefit of the 'local poor' by Archbishop Tait. He had become Archbishop in 1869 and was concerned about the welfare of the poor of London. The area designated for local children to play became known as Lambeth Palace Field, which continued to be used after Archbishop Tait had died. In 1900 a campaign for the permanent and unrestricted opening of Lambeth Palace Field was spearheaded by the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association and this led to the Church Commissioners granting a licence allowing local people to use the park. Archbishop's Park was laid out with lawns, a children's playground and sports fields within boundary trees, and was opened in 1901.
Various facilities have been added over the years. At the northern end a garden area was dedicated to Octavia Hill, an energetic social campaigner for better housing and access to open spaces for the poor and disadvantaged, and one of the prime movers in the foundation of the National Trust. A Millennium Path has been created, telling the story of Lambeth's history, and in 2010 a community orchard was opened in the north-west corner. The tree varieties selected reflect what would have been found here 200 years ago when the area had many market gardens and nurseries. The children's playground was also refurbished in recent years. The park was extended by the addition of land in compensation for the loss of green space due to building works at St Thomas' Hospital and funding for shrub planting was received from the MPGA. The Founder's Place development to the north of the park led by Guys' and St Thomas' Charity will bring improvements to Archbishop's Park, yet to be finalised. Archbishop's Park won the Green Flag Award in 2009, retaining this subsequently.
Ian Yarham, Michael Waite, Andrew Simpson, Niall Machin, 'Nature Conservation in Lambeth', Ecology Handbook 26 (London Ecology Unit), 1994