Inventory Site Record

Eltham Park South (Greenwich)

Brief Description

Eltham Park South is on land that was once part of Colonel J T North's estate at Avery Hill. It was acquired in 1902 by the LCC after North's death in 1896 and laid out for public recreation. Eltham Park North was provided in 1929, the two parks divided by the railway and now also by the Eltham Relief Road, access between the two via a pedestrian footbridge. Trees include a clump of oaks and an avenue of horse chestnuts from the footbridge south, with some paths having avenues of trees. Eltham Park Lido opened in 1924 and was a popular facility but was closed in 1988. It has now been demolished and grassed over.

Practical Information
Site location:
Glenesk Road/ footpath from Riefield Road, Eltham
Postcode:
SE9 1AN
Type of site:
Public Park
Borough:
Greenwich
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Tennis courts, football, playground, toilets. Permissive bridleway
Events:
Public transport:
Rail: Falconwood. Bus: B16.
Research updated:
01/12/2006

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

Full Site Description

Eltham Park South is on land that was once part of Colonel J T North's estate at Avery Hill (q.v.) After North's death in 1896 the land remained in private ownership of the Cameron Corbet Development Company until 1902 when it was purchased by Woolwich Borough Council and the London County Council for a public park. Facilities including tennis courts, a putting green, a children’s playground, and an open-air pool were added although the park is dominated by playing fields and is largely grass with perimeter and other paths. Eltham Park Lido opened on 26 April 1924, a joint venture of the LCC and Woolwich BC, costing £7,700 to construct with a pool of 150 x 60 feet. In 1936 new changing facilities and diving boards were added, designed by the Borough Engineer. It was a popular facility that was open all year round. It was used by the Eltham Training and Swimming Club, which undertook long distance swimming including Cross Channel events. The lido continued to be run by the GLC until 1986 and it was then passed to Greenwich Council, who in 1988 made the decision to close it as a result of spending cuts. There were attempts made by local campaigners to re-open it in the 1990s, who set up a charity called SPLASH for the purpose. A proposal to create an indoor tennis centre on the site also failed and the lido was eventually demolished and the site grassed over.

The park is separated from Eltham Park North (q.v.) by the railway and now also by the Eltham Relief Road, and access between the two parks is via a pedestrian bridge. There is a group of oaks left as a clump and an avenue of horse chestnuts from the footbridge south, with some paths having avenues of trees. The Glenesk Road boundary is bordered by limes with some planting of shrubs along the northern boundary. An area near the playground is on undulating ground where conifers have been planted. A pleasant C20th brick and tile pavilion located by the tennis courts provides toilets and changing room. Part of the London Cycle Network runs through the park.

Sources consulted:

Spurgeon, D, Discover Greenwich and Charlton, 1991; Sue Swales, Meg Game, Ian Yarham, 'Nature Conservation in Greenwich', Ecology Handbook 10 (London Ecology Unit), 1989; Website: 'Lidos in London no longer open' compiled by Oliver Merrington and Andy Hoines, with additional details and photographs from Ian Gordon, www.lidos.org.uk

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ436750 (543872,175058)
Size in hectares:
16.79
Site ownership:
RB Greenwich
Site management:
Parks and Open Spaces Department; Friends of Eltham Parks
Date(s):
1902/3
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
None
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

No

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:
No
In Conservation Area:
No
Tree Preservation Order:
No
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
Yes - Area of Special Character of Metropolitan Importance
Other LA designation:
Green Chain (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.