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Encyclopedia > Victoria Park, East London
Victoria Park lake (2004)
   
:Image:VictoriaParkStitch2.jpg
Victoria Park lake (2004)
The 'Bathing Pond' in Victoria Park. It has not been used for bathing since 1936, when the park lido opened, but it is very popular with angels. (August 2005)
The 'Bathing Pond' in Victoria Park. It has not been used for bathing since 1936, when the park lido opened, but it is very popular with angels. (August 2005)

Victoria Park is a large open space that stretches out across part of the East End of London, England bordering parts of Bethnal Green, Hackney, and Bow, such as along Old Ford Road, London E3. The park is entirely within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 112 pixelsFull resolution (11010 × 1536 pixel, file size: 3. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 112 pixelsFull resolution (11010 × 1536 pixel, file size: 3. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The East End of London, known locally as the East End, is an area, with no formal authority or boundaries, that spans a number of administative districts of London in England. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The London Borough of Hackney is a London Borough in the east end of London and part of inner London. ... Bow is an area of East London, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. ... The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames in East London. ...

Contents

Origins

218 acres were purchased by the Crown Estate, and laid out by notable London planner and architect Sir James Pennethorne between 1842 and 1846. A part of the area was known as Bonner Fields, after Bishop Bonner, the last lord of the manor of Stepney. The land had originally been parkland, associated with the Bishop's Palace, but by the mid-1800s had been spoiled by the extraction of gravel, and clay for bricks. This article is about the unit of measure known as the acre. ... In the United Kingdom, the Crown Estate is a property portfolio associated with the monarchy. ... An architect at his drawing board, 1893 An architect is a person who is involved in the planning, designing and oversight of a buildings construction. ... Sir James Pennethorne (June 4, 1801 – 1871) was a notable 19th century English architect and planner, particularly associated with buildings and parks in central London. ... 1842 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Edmund Boner (1500?- 5th September, 1569), Bishop of London, was an English bishop. ... The title of Lord of the Manor arose in the English medieval system of Manorialism following the Norman Conquest. ... Stepney is a place in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. ... // ON MAY 5 1853 MR.FADER HAD SEX WITH A MAN NAME MR WIEN THEN THEY HAD SON NAMEDMRS COTURE AND MR MANOOGIAN WENT INTO MRS HASKELLS OFFICE NAKED AND DANCED AROUND AND MASTERBATED ON HER CHEST AND SHE LICKED IT OFF THEN THEY HAD ORAL SEEX WITH NAPLOEAN OF...


It was opened to the public in 1845. This large park is reminiscent of Regent's Park (not least because the latter was designed by Pennethorne's teacher John Nash), though much less busy, and is considered by some as the finest park in the East End. It is bounded on two sides by canals: the Regent's Canal lies to the west, while its branch, once known as the Hertford Union Canal runs along the Southern edge of the park. There is a gate named after Edmund Bonner. Guarding the main entrance at Sewardstone Road are the now badly damaged Dogs of Alcibiades which have stood here since 1912. This article is about Regents Park in London. ... John Nash For other people of the same name, see John Nash. ... For other uses, see Canal (disambiguation). ... The Regents Canal is a canal across an area just to the north of central London. ... The Hertford Union Canal is a short stretch (c. ... Edmund Boner (1500?- 5th September, 1569), Bishop of London, was an English bishop. ... Alcibiades Cleiniou Scambonides (Greek: ; English /ælsɪbaɪədi:z/; 450 BC–404 BC), also transliterated as Alkibiades, was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ...

A drawing of the proposed layout published in 1841.
A drawing of the proposed layout published in 1841.

Two pedestrian alcoves, surviving fragments of the old London Bridge, demolished in 1831, are located at the east end of the park near the Hackney Wick war memorial where they were placed in 1860. They were part of the 1760 refurbishment of the 600 year old bridge, by Sir Robert Taylor and George Dance the Younger, and provided protection for pedestrians on the narrow carriageway. The insignia of the Bridge Association can be seen inside these alcoves. The alcoves have been Grade II listed, since 1951[1]. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... For other uses, see London Bridge (disambiguation). ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Hackney Wick is an area in the London Borough of Hackney in East London. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... Sir Robert Taylor (1714 – 1788) was a notable English architect of the mid-late 18th century. ... George Dance the Younger (1741 - 14 January 1825) was a British architect and surveyor. ... Buckingham Palace, a Grade I listed building. ...


The People's Park

In the latter half of the 19th Century, Victoria Park became an essential amenity for the working classes of the East End. For some East End children in the 1880s, this may have been the only large stretch of uninterrupted greenery they ever encountered. Facilities like the Bathing Pond (picture right) —later superseded by the park lido—would have introduced many to swimming in an era when many public baths (like that at Shacklewell) were still simply communal washing facilities. The East End of London, known locally as the East End, is an area, with no formal authority or boundaries, that spans a number of administative districts of London in England. ... A district within the London Borough of Hackney, roughly between Dalston and Hackney Central. ...


Victoria Park's reputation as the 'People's Park' grew as it became a centre for political meetings and rallies of all stripes, perhaps exceeding in importance the more well-known Hyde Park in this regard. The park occupies the interface between Tower Hamlets — sunk in poverty in the 19th century and with a strong tradition of socialist and revolutionary agitation — and Hackney, more genteel, but heir to a centuries-old legacy of religious dissent and non-conformism that led to its own fierce brand of reformism. So it should come as no surprise that the scene at the numerous Speaker's Corners was a lively one. “Hyde Park” redirects here. ... Socialism is a social and economic system (or the political philosophy advocating such a system) in which the economic means of production are owned and controlled collectively by the people. ... A nonconformist is an English or Welsh Protestant of any non-Anglican denomination, chiefly advocating religious liberty. ... Socialist Reformism is the belief that gradual democratic changes in a society can ultimately change a societys fundamental economic relations and political structures. ...


Although any one could set up their own soapbox, the biggest crowds were usually drawn to 'star' socialist speakers such as William Morris and Annie Besant. William Morris, socialist and innovator in the Arts and Crafts movement William Morris (March 24, 1834 – October 3, 1896) was an English artist, writer, socialist and activist. ... Annie Besant Plaque on house in Colby Road, London SE19 where Annie Besant lived in 1874. ...

Grade II* listed drinking fountain in Victoria Park erected by Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts in 1862. (October 2005)
Grade II* listed drinking fountain in Victoria Park erected by Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts in 1862[2]. (October 2005)

This description by J H Rooney, correspondent for Harper's Magazine (February 1888) evokes a scene that seems to prefigure the Internet: Image File history File links Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (640 × 853 pixel, file size: 333 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Baroness Burdett Coutts Drinking Fountain, Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, London. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (640 × 853 pixel, file size: 333 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Baroness Burdett Coutts Drinking Fountain, Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, London. ... Buckingham Palace, a Grade I listed building. ... Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts, Baroness Burdett-Coutts (born Angela Burdett 24 April 1814 in Piccadilly, London - 30 December 1906) was the daughter of Sir Francis Burdett, Baronet, an MP, and Sophia Coutts, who was the daughter of Thomas Coutts, the wealthy banker who founded Coutts bank. ... An issue of Harpers Magazine, November 2004 Harpers Magazine (or simply Harpers) is a monthly magazine of politics and culture. ... For the toll-free telephone number see Toll-free telephone number Year 1888 (MDCCCLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...

"On the big central lawn are scattered numerous groups, some of which are very closely packed. Almost all the religious sects of England and all the political and social parties are preaching their ideas and disputing [...]
"On this lawn the listener, as his fancy prompts him, may assist on Malthusianism, atheism, agnosticism, secularism, Calvinism, socialism, anarchism, Salvationism, Darwinism, and even, in exceptional cases, Swedenborgianism and Mormonism. I once heard there a prophet, a man who professed to be inspired by the Holy Ghost; but this prophet ended by being locked up in an asylum, where he will have to convert the doctor before he can recover his liberty."[3]

Truly a marketplace of ideas, and an important one, in an era that had still not achieved universal literacy, particularly in the less wealthy parts of the East End.


The tradition of public speaking in the park continued until well after the Second World War, and was still later reflected in politically oriented rock concerts, such as those held by Rock Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League in the 1980s. And it is still not uncommon for marches or demonstrations to begin or end in Victoria Park. Rock Against Racism (RAR) was a campaign set up by Red Saunders, Roger Huddle and others in winter 1976. ... Anti-Nazi League logo The Anti-Nazi League (ANL) was an organisation set up on the initiative of the Socialist Workers Party with some sponsorship (and a few small financial donations) from some trade unions and the endorsement of a list of prominent people in 1977 to oppose the rise...


Second World War

The Hackney Wick Great War memorial, August 2005
The Hackney Wick Great War memorial, August 2005

During the war, Victoria Park was largely closed to the public and effectively became one huge Ack-Ack (anti-aircraft) site, also including a POW camp for, at first, Italian, then German prisoners. The gun emplacements conveniently straddled the path of German bombers looping north west after attacking the docks and warehouses further south in what is now Tower Hamlets, and so the park was of some strategic importance. Image File history File links Summary Hackney Wick Great War memorial, Victoria Park, August 2005. ... Image File history File links Summary Hackney Wick Great War memorial, Victoria Park, August 2005. ... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames in East London. ...


The plotting rooms for the gun sites were in underground bunkers at the bottom of Cassland Road, Hackney Wick. A Hackney resident of the time says: Hackney Wick is an area in the London Borough of Hackney in East London. ...

"When in the Army in 1952, I was driven to these operation rooms, to help shut them down to be eventually demolished.
"To my surprise, in all my years of living no more than five minutes walk away I never knew they were there, besides, bombs had dropped all around in that vicinity and that place was missed. Nevertheless the plotting operation rooms were far below ground."

Given the obscurity of this war room at the time, it is doubtful if any evidence of a deep shelter can be spotted now.[original research?]


More controversially, anti-aircraft activity in the park has been implicated in the panic that caused the Bethnal Green tube disaster of 1943. Some eyewitness accounts have led to the suggestion that, after several air raid alerts, the panic run for shelter was caused by a gigantic explosion of noise from the direction of the park. A BBC documentary on the event[4] suggests that this was due to the first firing of the new Z-Battery anti-aircraft rockets. The UK Ministry of Defence, however, disputes this account. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Unrotated Projectile, or UP, was a short range rocket firing anti-aircraft weapon developed by the Royal Navy to supplement the 2 pounder Pom-Pom (gun) due to a critical lack of close-range anti-aircraft weapons. ...


Modern times

This pedestrian alcove is a surviving fragment of the old London Bridge, demolished in 1831. Two have resided in Victoria Park since 1860 (August 2005)
This pedestrian alcove is a surviving fragment of the old London Bridge, demolished in 1831. Two have resided in Victoria Park since 1860 (August 2005)

In recent times, Victoria Park became noted for its open-air music festivals, often linked with a political cause. The 1980 rock docudrama Rude Boy features The Clash playing at an Anti-Nazi League event in the park. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (640x773, 217 KB) Summary Pedestrian alcove from Old London Bridge, Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, London. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (640x773, 217 KB) Summary Pedestrian alcove from Old London Bridge, Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, London. ... For other uses, see London Bridge (disambiguation). ... Rude Boy is a 1980 film about a roadie for the punk band The Clash. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Victoria Park is very popular with children and is host to: a One O'Clock Club for under-fives; a herd of deer and goats; and a programme of summer activities. And an excellent children's play park also includes a paddling pool.


The oldest model boat club in the world,[5] the Victoria Model Steam Boat Club, founded in the Park on 15 July 1904, is still active today and holds up to 17 of their Sunday regattas a year. The VMSB Club runs straight-running boats just as they did 100 years ago but have also progressed to radio control and hydroplanes. The first Regatta is traditionally held on Easter Sunday and the Steam Regatta is always held on the first Sunday in July.


The Park is also the home of Victoria Park Harriers & Tower Hamlets Athletics Club, which has its headquarters at St. Augustine's Hall located at the N.E. corner of the Park. The Club celebrated its 80th Anniversary in 2006.


During the summer cricket is played every evening on the park's three all-weather wickets, organised by the Victoria Park Community Cricket League. The park also has a popular three-lane cricket net, free to use at all times. It was refurbished to a high standard at the end of 2005, paid for by a grant from the England and Wales Cricket Board. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is the governing body of cricket in England and Wales. ...


The park is open daily from 6:00am to dusk.


References and notes

  1. ^ English Heritage listing details accessed 27 Mar 2007
  2. ^ English Heritage listing details accessed 27 Mar 2007
  3. ^ William J. Fishman, East End 1888, Duckworth, 1988, 0-9541059-0-7. Page 267. [The author's Politics chapter, from which the Harpers quote is taken, reports on many significant political events in Victoria Park. Fishman himself goes on to say "[...]As a boy I went to such meetings there, albeit over forty years later, and the scenes so marvellously evoked by this narrator remained very much the same."]
  4. ^ Bethnal Green - disaster at the tube Homeground (BBC Broadcast 24 Sep 2003) accessed 20 Dec 2006
  5. ^ Guinness Book of Records
  • A Pictorial History of Victoria Park, London E3. Published by the East London History Society, ISBN 0-9506258-1-7

William J. Fishman is the author of several books about the history of the East End of London. ... Suresh Joachim, minutes away from breaking the ironing world record at 55 hours and 5 minutes, at Shoppers World, Brampton. ...

External links

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Crystal Palace has a number of meanings: The Crystal Palace was a Victorian iron and glass building, originally in Hyde Park, London for the Great Exhibition, and subsequently rebuilt in south London. ... , Dulwich Park is a 29 hectare (72 acre) park in Dulwich in the London Borough of Southwark. ... Duppas Hill is at Croydon in Surrey. ... Eel Brook Common is a park in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, close to Fulham Broadway Tube. ... Epping Forest is an area of ancient woodland in south-east England, straddling the border between north-east Greater London and Essex. ... This is an article about the park called Finsbury Park. ... Green Park, London Green Park (officially The Green Park) is one of the Royal Parks of London. ... One of the Royal Parks of London, Greenwich Park is a former deer-park in Greenwich and one of the largest single green spaces in south east London. ... Hackney Marshes holds the world record for the highest number (88) of full-sized football pitches in one place. ... Hampstead Heath (locally known as The Heath) is a public open space in the north of London. ... Hampton Court Park – sometimes called the Home Park – is adjacent to Hampton Court Palace and Gardens in southwest London. ... Holland Park is a district and a public park in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in west central London in England. ... Hornchurch Country Park is a park on the former site of Hornchurch Airfield, south of Hornchurch in the London Borough of Havering, East London. ... “Hyde Park” redirects here. ... Island Gardens is a public park located at the southern end of the Isle of Dogs - hence the name Island - in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on the north bank of the River Thames. ... Jubilee Gardens was created in 1977 to mark the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II and sits at the heart of London’s cultural centre, South Bank. ... Kennington Park is in Kennington, London, England, in London SE11, and lies between Kennington Park Road and St Agnes Place. ... See also Kensington Gardens, South Australia, a suburb of Adelaide, Australia Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, is one of the Royal Parks of London, lying immediately to the west of Hyde Park. ... Kilburn Grange Park is a 3. ... Lincolns Inn Fields is the largest public square in London. ... London Fields at twilight. ... Mile End Park is a park located in London. ... A footpath near the golf corse. ... Morden Hall Park is a small National Trust park located in Morden on the banks of the river Wandle. ... Morden Park is an area within the district of Morden in the London Borough of Merton, and includes the Park itself, an area of green space in an otherwise dense cluster of 1930s suburban housing. ... Osterley House with Stable Block to right Design for the entrance facade of Osterley House by Robert Adam A design for one of the walls of the Estruscan dressing room at Osterly Park by Robert Adam. ... Parliament Hill is an open area of land in north-west London adjacent to Hampstead Heath administered by the Corporation of London. ... Parsons Green is a park in the Parsons Green area of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. ... Plumstead Common is a common in Plumstead, (SE18) in the London Borough of Greenwich, south-east London. ... , Primrose Hill is a hill located on the north side of Regents Park in north London, and also the name for the surrounding district. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about Regents Park in London. ... It has been suggested that King Henry VIIIs Mound be merged into this article or section. ... The Wildspace Conservation Park, also known as London Riverside Conservation Park or Wildspace, is a major new conservation park currently under development. ... “Kew Gardens” redirects here. ... South Norwood Country Park is a park in South Norwood, close to Elmers End station, in the London Borough of Croydon. ... St. ... Streatham Common is a large open space on the southern edge of Streatham. ... The Tooting Commons consist of two adjacent areas of common land lying between Balham, Streatham and Tooting, in south west London - Tooting Bec Common and Tooting Graveney Common. ... Mansion at Trent Park The Trent Park mansion houses the Trent Park campus of Middlesex University in North London. ... Valentines Park is the largest (125 acres) green space in the London Borough of Redbridge, between Ilford and Gants Hill. ... Victoria Tower Gardens is a public park along the north bank of the River Thames in London. ... Wandsworth common is a common in Battersea, south London. ... 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