Alexandra Recreation Ground (Bromley)
Alexandra Recreation Ground was laid out by the local council in the late 1880s and opened in c.1891. It is named after Alexandra, wife of the future King Edward VII, who is also commemorated in Alexandra Road that borders the park in the south-east. The original area of the park was what is now north of Maitland Road, the southern part added in the early C20th. A pond in the south-east corner of the original park pre-dated the park but was eventually filled in, becoming the site of a bandstand. The park was a popular venue for cricket, with Penge Cricket Club playing here.
- Site location:
- Alexandra Road/Maitland Road/Studland Road/Tarragon Grove/Lennard Road/Tannsfield Road, Penge
- SE26 5NH
- Type of site:
- Public Park
- Open to public?
- Opening times:
- unrestricted, although the playground is probably locked at dusk
- Special conditions:
- Children’s play area; paddling pool and toilets (summer holidays only); bowling green, football pitches.
- Public transport:
- Rail: Penge East. London Overground: Sydenham. Bus: 351
- Research updated:
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.bromley.gov.uk; www.friendsofcatorandalexandra.com
Full Site Description
When Alexandra Recreation Ground was first laid out this part of Penge was still being developed, with tracts of open land to the east of the main centre of population adjacent to the railway line. Penge became popular after Crystal Palace opened, bringing visitors to the area. When it first opened the park was reached via a roadway between two large properties, now Studland Road, that led to the main area of the park. It consisted of an oval open space with a main perimeter paths flanked by trees and other paths within areas of planting in the corners, with a pavilion on the east side and in the south a granite drinking fountain. This was erected in 1891 by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association, but it appears to have been moved from Beckenham Railway Station. A pond in the south-east corner of the park appears on earlier maps when the area was fields.
By the early C20th an additional area was laid out for recreation, previously open land to the south of the original park, bordered by Maitland Road to the west and the newly laid out Alexandra Road to the east. By 1912 maps show that a central bandstand was located in this part of the park and by the early 1930s there were tennis courts in the north, with later maps showing a formally laid out garden south of the courts. By the 1930s the southern end of the original park had a bowling green with pavilion, toilets, and a bandstand on the former site of the pond, and by the 1940s a paddling pool had been added. Cricket was a popular sport played in the park.
Today Alexandra Recreation Ground is an area of relatively level grass with a children’s play area at the southern end, a bowling green to the east, a children’s paddling pool to the west and playing fields to the north. Residential housing, partly screened by shrubs and trees on the boundary, surrounds the site. There are mature trees along the western boundary with Maitland Road, and others decorate the park and the children’s play area, which is enclosed within iron railings. Tarmac paths run around the perimeter, these connect the park with the Green Chain path system. A finger post to the south of the bowling green indicates Cator Park (q.v.) 1 mile; Beckenham Place (q.v.) 3 miles; Thamesmead Riverside (q.v.) 16.5 miles to the east and Crystal Palace Park (q.v.) 1.25 miles to the west. The main entrance is in Alexandra Road. The Friends of Cator Park and Alexandra Recreation Ground were established in 2008 to encourage better care of both parks, and organise a variety of activities.
Andrew Crowe, 'The Parks and Woodlands of London' (Fourth Estate, 1987); Bromley Council website 2002
Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
- Grid ref:
- TQ356710 (535690,170930)
- Size in hectares:
- Site ownership:
- LB Bromley
- Site management:
- Leisure Services; Friends of Cator Park and Alexandra Recreation Ground
- 1880s; early C20th
- Listed structures:
- On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:
- Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
- Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
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:
- In Conservation Area:
- Tree Preservation Order:
- Nature Conservation Area:
- Green Belt:
- Metropolitan Open Land:
- Special Policy Area:
- Other LA designation:
- Urban Open Space; Green Chain Walk
Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and is subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.