Inventory Site Record

Elmhurst Gardens (Redbridge)

Brief Description

Elmhurst Gardens is an oblong municipal park laid out on land once part of Elmhurst Estate, acquired by Woodford UDC in 1921. The gardens were opened in July 1927 as Woodford Recreation Ground. The land was purchased from Mr Lister Harrison of Elmhurst, having been separated from the house and remainder of the estate by the railway in 1856. The gardens have notable beech, oak and lime, and retain much of the original layout as well as a picturesque brick sundial and small pavilion, and an area of formal planting with seats.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Gordon Fields
Site location:
Gordon Road, South Woodford
E18 1DH
Type of site:
Public Park
Open to public?
Opening times:
Daily 8am-dusk (check site owner for closing time); closed Christmas Day
Special conditions:
Bowling green, children's play area, tennis courts
Public transport:
Tube: South Woodford (Central)./Walthamstow Central (Victoria) then bus. Bus: 179, 549, W14.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

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

Full Site Description

In the early C19th the land here was fields within the estate of Elmhurst (q.v.), which in 1832 may have been held by Alexander Steward. In 1856 land to the east had been annexed for constructing the railway and the future site of the park was separated by the new railway line from the house and immediate grounds of Elmhurst. In the early C20th the site was leased to Woodford Urban District Council and used for allotments. In 1920 3 lots were sold off by the owner, Mr Lister Harrison, and the UDC purchased the freehold of Lot no. 3 in 1921, most of which later became the public park. It was opened in July 1927 as Woodford Recreation Ground, laid out with paths and planting included ornamental beds.

The gardens now possess notable beech, oak and lime, many in groups or rows, and concentrated at the east end of the site. Just off the path by the entrance, now near the busy A406, is a picturesque brick sundial, which had been erected by 1930, and near the Gordon Road entrance is a small pavilion where there is also an area of seating and formal planting, which takes the form of a series of rose beds; a circular central bed is surrounded by four semi-circular beds within a circular tarmac path with four areas of shrubs around it. This circular layout is depicted on the OS Map of 1939. Two lateral paths meet up with the park’s perimeter path. Recreational facilities include a bowling green (used by the South Woodford Bowling Club), tennis courts, and under 13s children’s playground. The Friends of Elmhurst Gardens were formed in 2008.

Sources consulted:

Peter Lawrence and Georgina Green, 'Woodford, A Pictorial History', Phillimore, 1995; LB Redbridge, Elmhurst Gardens Management Plan 2009 - 2013.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ411904 (540724,190605)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Redbridge
Site management:
Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure Ltd; Friends of Elmhurst Gardens
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:
Local Open Space
Elmhurst Gardens, c.1940s. Courtesy Redbridge Local Studies & Archives.

Click a photo to enlarge.

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.