Baxter's Field is on sloping land that remained open land as housing gradually surrounded it from the late C19th. The OS Map of 1952/3 shows the north-west part in use for allotments, with playing fields to the south-east crossed by a line of trees, and provided with a drinking fountain, but it is unclear whether this was public open space or part of the adjacent Sydenham School grounds. By 1970 it all appears to be one site, crossed by a path on the line of the former boundary between allotments and playing field. A plaque erected by the Sydenham Society in 1980 at the west entrance gives information about George Baxter (1804-1867) after whom the park is named. Now sandwiched between suburban housing the park is largely grass with railed shrubberies, a few trees, a perimeter path and another path crossing the park between the entrances.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2002
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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.
According to the plaque on the site George Baxter was an engraver and printer who lived in The Retreat, Peak Hill. In 1827 he married Mary Harrild, daughter of printer Robert Harrild who lived at Round Hill Cottage near the park. Harrild manufactured printing equipment and was developer of the Sydenham Park Estate. Baxter developed a more economical method of printing in colour, which he patented in 1835. He died in an accident with a horse drawn vehicle and is buried at Christ Church Forest Hill (q.v.).
Darrell Spurgeon, 'Discover Sydenham and Catford', (Greenwich Guide-books, 1999).