London Parks & Gardens Trust

Docks and Ducks

Kennington Park

Kennington Park

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Directions

Turn right out of Addington Square. Cross the Camberwell Road into Bethwin Road, using the contraflow cycle lane. At the end, turn right into John Ruskin Street and left into Cooks Road. After about half a kilometre, you will go past Kennington Park on the left-hand side.

Description

Kennington Park was laid out in 1852-54 by James Pennethorne for the Department of Woods and Forests on c.7.5 hectares of reclaimed land which was part of Kennington Common, the site of the famous Chartist demonstration. It opened to the public in 1854, laid out with a central area of lawns enclosed by paths lined by plane trees. In the north-east corner the C19th Prince Consort's Model Lodge remains and twin cottages designed 1851 by Henry Roberts for display at the Great Exhibition were re-erected as lodges midway along the west boundary on Kennington Park Road. To north and south of this were sunken gardens with massed bedding which was replaced in the later C20th by rose beds. Paths lead from here across the park with a bandstand and tennis courts within the lawns, a café to the south east. There have been a number of additions to the park resulting from slum clearance.

The keeper's lodge at the first corner of the park is the site of Bee Urban. This is a beekeeping and environmental education community project. It has transformed the unused garden, carving out new growing beds and planting fruit trees, soft fruit, nectar-rich plants, herbs and flowers. It opens to the public on Open Garden Squares Weekend.