Mayow Park

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Mayow Park
Mayow Park - - 840960.jpg
Mayow Park is the oldest municipal park in Lewisham photo: Stephen Craven,
Typepublic park
Location Sydenham, London, England
Coordinates 51°25′47″N0°02′57″W / 51.42986°N 0.049214°W / 51.42986; -0.049214 Coordinates: 51°25′47″N0°02′57″W / 51.42986°N 0.049214°W / 51.42986; -0.049214
Area7 hectares (17 acres)
Created1 June 1878 (1 June 1878)
Operated byLondon Borough of Lewisham
StatusOpen year round

Mayow Park, formerly known as Sydenham Recreation Ground, is a municipal park in London Borough of Lewisham. Located on Mayow Road in Sydenham, south east London, it is the borough's oldest park and its second oldest public open space after Blackheath. [1] The park has a Green Flag Award. [2]

London Borough of Lewisham Borough in United Kingdom

Lewisham is a London borough in South London, England and forms part of Inner London. The principal settlement of the borough is Lewisham. The local authority is Lewisham London Borough Council and it is based in Catford. Lewisham is also well known for its high school exclusion rates, in 2018 Lewisham had the 3rd highest school exclusion rates in the United Kingdom.

Sydenham, London area in the London Borough of Lewisham, England

Sydenham is a district within the south east London Boroughs of Lewisham, Bromley and Southwark. Prior to the creation of the County of London in 1889, Sydenham was located in Kent, bordering Surrey. Historically, the area was very affluent, with the Crystal Palace being relocated to Sydenham Hill in 1854. Today Sydenham is a diverse area, with a population of 28,378 and borders Forest Hill, Dulwich, Crystal Palace, Penge, Beckenham, Catford and Bellingham.

Blackheath, London inner suburban area of South East London, England

Blackheath is a district of south east London, England straddling the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Lewisham. It has borders with parts of London hubs Lewisham and Greenwich and other borders with Lee, Kidbrooke and a small part of Deptford.



The park opened in 1878 as Sydenham Recreation Ground. It was built on a site owned by the Mayow family, which at one time owned most of the land between Sydenham Road and Perry Vale. [1]

Perry Vale Neighbourhood of London

Perry Vale is a neighbourhood and electoral ward in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is 10.5 km (6.5 mi) southeast of Charing Cross and located near Forest Hill to the east of Forest Hill railway station, where the railway line forms the western boundary. The ward is named after the main road Perry Vale which passes through, this road is part of the B227 road which is called Perry Rise further to the south. The electoral ward has existed since the London Borough of Lewisham revised its wards and ward boundaries in 2002.

Reverend William Taylor Jones, headmaster of Sydenham College, played a key role in finding both the funding and the land for the park. His campaign began with an 1875 letter to the local newspaper bemoaning the lack of public space in the borough for recreation and implying that this was having a negative impact on the morals of the population – particularly young people and the poor. Six months later, when an editorial in the paper questioned why so little progress had been made, Taylor Jones discussed the two major issues of funding and finding suitable land. [3]

Taylor Jones formed a committee of influential local residents, including Frederick Horniman and Rev. Augustus Legge and, by February 1876, he was able to announce that Mayow Wynell Adams (then squire of Sydenham) was able to offer a parcel of land for around half its market value. [1] [3]

Frederick John Horniman British politician

Frederick John Horniman was an English tea trader and founder of the Horniman Museum in London.

Augustus Legge British bishop

Augustus Legge was Bishop of Lichfield from 1891 until 1913.

It took a further two years of negotiations and fundraising before the park opened as Sydenham and Forest Hill Public Recreation Ground in June 1878. [3] Taylor Jones’ role in its establishment is commemorated with a drinking fountain, erected after a public subscription. [1]

Layout and notable features

Covering an area of 7 hectares (17 acres), the site is notable for its mature English oak trees. There are at least 20, including pollarded specimens, that are older than the park. It has been described as Lewisham’s finest collection of mature oak trees apart from those in Beckenham Place Park. Other notable trees include araucaria, ginkgo and holm oak. [1]

<i>Quercus robur</i> species of plant

Quercus robur, commonly known as common oak, pedunculate oak, European oak or English oak, is a species of flowering plant in the beech and oak family, Fagaceae. It is native to most of Europe west of the Caucasus. The tree is widely cultivated in temperate regions and has escaped into the wild in scattered parts of China and North America.

Pollarding technique of severe pruning of trees

Pollarding, a pruning system involving the removal of the upper branches of a tree, promotes a dense head of foliage and branches. In ancient Rome, Propertius mentioned pollarding during the 1st century BCE. The practice occurred commonly in Europe since medieval times, and takes place today in urban areas worldwide, primarily to maintain trees at a determined height.

Beckenham Place Park

Beckenham Place Park is a large park located near Beckenham in the London Borough of Lewisham. It lies close to the border with London Borough of Bromley. The Palladian-style mansion that gave the park its name now serves as a community centre and cafe.

The park includes a bowling green, two tennis courts, children’s playground, cafeteria, nature reserve and meadow area. [2]

Park initiatives

Friends of Mayow Park was established in 1993 and is a group of park users that works with London Borough of Lewisham to improve the landscape and community resources of the park. [1] Recent projects include renovation of flowerbeds and installation of a new pathway near the Mayow Road end of the park, and the planting of a community orchard and fruit hedgerow. [4] [5]

There is also a community garden, known as Grow Mayow, located on a former park keeper’s depot, that offers opportunities to get involved with gardening and growing produce. [6]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "London Gardens Online". London Gardens Online. Retrieved 2013-07-08.
  2. 1 2 "Lewisham Council - Mayow Park". Retrieved 2013-07-08.
  3. 1 2 3 Steve Grindlay (2008-11-05). "Sydenham and Forest Hill Local History: The Origins of Mayow Park". Retrieved 2013-07-08.
  4. "Work starts on new garden at Mayow Park". The Sydenham Society. Retrieved 2013-07-08.
  5. "Mayow Park Hedge | Hedgerow Harvest | Food for Free | Healthy Eating | Local Food | Community Orchards | Foraging". Hedgerow Harvest. 2012-01-28. Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2013-07-08.
  6. "Grow Mayow Community Garden: ABOUT US". Retrieved 2013-07-08.

External sources