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Barn Elms Playing Fields Richmond

Summary

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.

Basic Details

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:
None

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

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

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ224766

Size in hectares:
18.41

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:
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:
None

Barn Elms Playing Fields

Barn Elms Playing Fields, June 2009. Photo S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

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

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