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Forest Lane Park Newham
   
Summary: Although Forest Lane Park is a new park it is on the site of Wood Grange Manor, purchased in 1847 by Quaker banker and philanthropist Samuel Gurney, who conveyed the land to the Whitechapel Board of Guardians in 1852. Forest Gate Hospital Industrial School for poor children was built here in 1854 and remained until 1906. It became a workhouse, workhouse infirmary and then a hospital, before finally becoming redundant in 1984. The facade was retained and the southern and central part of the grounds remained. Forest Lane Park was developed on the site by Newham Council from 1991 as an environmentally themed facility, with lake, dipping pond, raised bed garden area, a small orchard with pear and cherry trees, woodland to the east, and a wildflower meadow.
Previous / Other name: Wood Grange Manor
Site location: Magpie Close, Forest Lane, Maryland
Postcode: E7 > Google Map
Type of site: Public Park
Date(s): C19th, 1994
Designer(s):
Listed structures: Local list: Hospital railings on forest Lane, Clock and drinking fountain
Borough: Newham
Site ownership: LB Newham
Site management: Parks Service; Friends of Forest Lane Park
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: dawn to dusk
Special conditions:
Facilities: Play area, dipping pond; Forest Lane Lodge with car park
Events:
Public transport: Rail: Forest Gate, Maryland. Bus: 58, 308, 330.
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.newham.gov.uk/EntertainmentandLeisure/ParksInNewham/ParksA-Z

Fuller information:

The area's name of Forest Gate derives from a gate erected in the C17th to stop cattle straying onto Romford Road from Wanstead Flats, the gate existing until 1883. Samuel Gurney conveyed the land to the Whitechapel Board of Guardians in 1852 who built the Forest Gate Hospital Industrial School for poor children here in 1854. The school remained until 1906, and was the scene of a tragedy in 1890 when a fire caused the deaths of 26 children. In 1908 it became the branch workhouse of Poplar Union, and in 1911 it was purchased by West Ham Union who re-opened it as a workhouse infirmary in 1913. It remained as a hospital and was expanded in 1931 and 1950. although the main Victorian building remained. Forest Gate Hospital finally became redundant in 1984 when the new Newham General Hospital opened, and it closed in 1985. The back part of the original main building was subsequently demolished and houses were built on the site, and most of the remainder of the building was demolished in 1993. However, the facade was retained and the southern and central part of the grounds remained.

Forest Lane Park was developed by Newham Council from 1991 as an environmentally themed facility, with lake, dipping pond, raised bed garden area, a small orchard with pear and cherry trees, and woodland to the east, and wildflower meadow. Along the southern edge are mature trees including lime, sycamore, plane, horse chestnut and red horse chestnut. In the park are two sculptures by Helen Stylianides: 'Pulse of Life' and 'Guardian' (1996) carved from oak donated by Epping Forest. Forest Lane Park was a winner of a Green Flag Award in 2000/2001 and in subsequent years. Adjacent to the park is Forest Lane Lodge, a facility available for hire.

Samuel Gurney, the brother of philanthropist Elizabeth Fry, is commemorated by an obelisk at Stratford Broadway, erected in 1861.

Sources consulted:

Newham Parks Review 1998/99; John Archer/Ian Yarham, Nature Conservation in Newham, London Ecology Unit, 1991; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); Bridget Cherry, Charles O'Brien, Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 5: East', (Yale University Press, 2005 ed)
Grid ref: TQ398852
Size in hectares: 2.02
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
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: No
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: No
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Local Importance
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation:
   

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