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Brunswick Park Southwark
   
Summary: Development of meadowland here took place from 1847, when Brunswick Square was laid out with an area of private communal garden in the centre. It was named after King George IV's marriage to Caroline, daughter of the Duke of Brunswick. In 1901 Camberwell Borough Council purchased the garden, then divided by a roadway, for a public park, which opened in 1907. Tennis courts and a playground were opened in 1937, and a drinking fountain was donated. The park was refurbished by LB Southwark in 1997-99.
Previous / Other name: Brunswick Square
Site location: Brunswick Park/St Giles Road/Benhill Road
Postcode: SE5 > Google Map
Type of site: Public Park
Date(s): 1907; 1930s
Designer(s):
Listed structures: LBII: 1 & 2 Brunswick Park and attached railings; 3 & 4 Brunswick Park and attached railings
Borough: Southwark
Site ownership: LB Southwark
Site management: Parks
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities: Playground, tennis courts
Events:
Public transport: Tube: Oval (Northern) then bus. Rail: Denmark Hill/Loughborough Junction then bus (+ walk). Bus: 12, 36, 171, 345, 35, 40, 42, 45, 68, 176, 468, 484.
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.southwark.gov.uk/parks

Fuller information:

The site of the park was probably part of the 63 acres of meadows owned by the parish church of St Giles (q.v.), which was referred to in the Domesday survey of 1087. In 1847 W J Hudson purchased land here and began developing it for housing with an area of open space in the centre, and a number of early C19th houses in the square remain. Although Hudson was unable to complete his scheme after losing ownership of the land in 1863, subsequent development by others largely adhered to Hudson's original designs.

The central garden was provided for the private use of the residents of the square until 1901, when Camberwell Borough Council compulsorily purchased it after some years of negotiation for £6,100, the LCC contributing £1,241 to the cost. The garden had previously been divided into two spaces by a roadway, which was then added to the new park in order to create one public space. The cost of laying out the park out was £2,599; it was finally opened by the Mayor of Camberwell on 15 July 1907 as Brunswick Park, and it was 'considered to be one of the prettiest open spaces in South London'. (Beasley). In 1937 further features were opened by the Mayor, including two hard tennis courts and a playground with 'an all-metal slide, a plank swing, an Ocean Wave, a merry-go-round, and two swings' (Beasley). A drinking fountain was donated by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association.

The park was refurbished by LB Southwark in 1997-99 at a cost of £230,000, providing new lighting, planting, restructured pathways, refurbished gates and railings, disabled access and improved playground and tennis facilities.

Sources consulted:

John Beasley, 'Southwark Remembered' (Tempus Publishing, 2001); 'The London County Council and what it does for London: London Parks and Open Spaces' (Hodder & Stoughton, 1924); Southwark Listed Buildings data
Grid ref: TQ330768
Size in hectares: 1.605
   
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:
Yes
 
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: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation: Local Park, Tier Two; London Squares Preservation Act
   

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