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Barn Elms Playing Fields Richmond
   

Barn Elms Playing Fields

Barn Elms Playing Fields, June 2009. Photo S Williams

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Barn Elms Playing Fields were formerly part of Church lands and the manor house, Barn Elms, was once the mansion of Sir Francis Walsingham, Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth, which was demolished in 1949. In the 1770s the formal lake was enlarged into a serpentine shape. Some large plane trees date from the late C17th landscape, but otherwise all that remains is the ornamental pond, the ice house on an artificial mound, and a lodge and avenue in Lower Richmond Road. The grounds were acquired for playing fields in 1949.
Mature plane tree, Barn Elms Playing Fields, October 2001. Photo S Williams
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Lake, Barn Elms Playing Fields, October 2001. Photo S Williams
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Ranelagh Club Balloon Race on Barn Elms Playing Fields, 1907. Courtesy/copyright of London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Local Studies Collection.
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Previous / Other name:
Site location: Queen Elizabeth Walk/Rocks Lane, Barnes
Postcode: SW13 9SA > Google Map
Type of site: Public Park
Date(s): C17th; 1949
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
Borough: Richmond
Site ownership: LB Richmond
Site management: Environment Planning & Review, Parks and Open Spaces
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: Mon - Sat: 7.30am - dusk/Sun & Bank Hols: 9am - dusk
Special conditions:
Facilities: Sports pitches for cricket, rugby, soccer, hockey, baseball, athletics track, tennis courts, play areas; toilets. Fishing lake managed by Barnes & Mortlake Angling and Preservation Society
Events:
Public transport: Rail: Barnes. Tube: Hammersmith (District, Hammersmith & City, Piccadilly) then bus. Bus 33, 72, 485
Mature plane tree, Barn Elms Playing Fields, October 2001. Photo S Williams
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Lake, Barn Elms Playing Fields, October 2001. Photo S Williams
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Ranelagh Club Balloon Race on Barn Elms Playing Fields, 1907. Courtesy/copyright of London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Local Studies Collection.
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The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.richmond.gov.uk/parks_and_open_spaces

Fuller information:

Barn Elms Playing Fields were formerly part of Church lands belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The manor house, known as Barn Elms, was once the mansion of Sir Francis Walsingham, Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth, which was destroyed by fire and demolished in 1949. In the 1770s the formal lake was enlarged into a serpentine shape. Some large plane trees date from the late C17th landscape, one of exceptional size that is listed as a Great Tree of London, one of a pair probably planted in 1680. Otherwise all that remains is the ornamental pond, the ice house on an artificial mound, and a lodge and avenue in Lower Richmond Road.

The grounds were acquired for playing fields in 1949. In 1957 Barn Elms School Sports Centre was built by the LCC Architects Department east of the lake, part of its policy of laying out sports fields in and around London so that secondary school children could play games on grass. A plan for a multi-million pound sports complex here was scrapped in 1985. The site had a 2m high close-boarded fence along Rocks Lane, which in 1989 LB Richmond proposed to replace to provide an open view of the parkland, but this initially provoked an outcry that money could be better spent on facilities such as toilets and changing rooms. At the north of the site within a small woodland area is a campsite for the Scouts and Guides.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999; John Archer, David Curson, 'Nature Conservation in Richmond upon Thames, Ecology Handbook 21', (London Ecology Unit) 1993 p73; LB Richmond Parks Guide; The Municipal Journal 14 November 1958
Grid ref: TQ224766
Size in hectares: 18.41
   
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 - Borough Importance II (small part nr lake)
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: Yes
Special Policy Area: Yes - Thames Policy Area
Other LA designation:
   

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