Inventory Site Record

The Highams Park

The Highams Park (Waltham Forest)

Brief Description

The Highams Park is on part of the former Highams estate, landscaped in the 1790s by Humphry Repton. Highams House is now Woodford County High School for Girls and the estate lands still exists in part, primarily as two adjacent park areas: Highams Park, owned by the Corporation of the City of London and part of Epping Forest, and The Highams Park, which was purchased by the local Council. It is on a triangle of sloping land on the eastern side of Repton's lake, which is within the Corporation land. In 1947 176 pre-fabs were erected here, removed in 1961 when this section of the park was re-established in the 'V' formed between two suburban streets.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Highams Park
Site location:
Keynsham Avenue, Woodford Green
Postcode:
IG8
Type of site:
Public Park
Borough:
Waltham Forest
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
unrestricted
Special conditions:
no cycling
Facilities:
under 7s play area
Events:
Public transport:
Tube: Woodford (Central) then bus. Rail: Highams Park then bus. Bus: 20, 179, 275, W13

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/08/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.walthamforest.gov.uk; www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Full Site Description

Highams was landscaped by Humphry Repton for the then owner John Harman. Highams House is now Woodford County High School for Girls (q.v.) and the estate lands still exists in part, primarily as two adjacent park areas: Highams Park (q.v.) owned by the Corporation of the City of London and part of Epping Forest, and the other being this park owned by LB Waltham Forest. A wire fence separates the two areas, which have been subject to contrasting styles of management. Across the eastern side of the former park a more densely developed band of suburban housing now blocks the sight lines between house and lake. The Highams Park is on a triangle of sloping land on this eastern side of the Repton's lake (which is within the Corporation’s land), which was purchased by the local Council and still maintained by them. It was built over with 176 prefabricated dwellings in 1947, which were then removed in 1961 when this section of the park was re-established in the 'V' formed between two suburban streets. The Highams Park consists of manicured grassland dotted with mature trees, asphalt paths and some new planting. Waltham Forest Council had intended to turn this section into an arboretum, but was hindered by the hidden foundations of the former prefabs. Surviving trees include ancient oaks and some specimen conifers.

Representatives of Waltham Council and the Corporation of London have expressed an interest in working together to recreate elements of the original landscape and to improve the quality of these two adjoining areas of parkland.

Sources consulted:

Victoria County History, Smith, M. M. Highams, The Story of a House, Walthamstow Antiquarian Society, London 1966; Hall, J. M. and Hall, R. 'Suburbanisation in Metropolitan Essex: The Interrupted Development of a Repton Park at Highams,' London Journal 12, (1) 1986; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993).

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ395921
Size in hectares:
8.79
Site ownership:
LB Waltham Forest and City of London Corporation/Epping Forest Conservators
Site management:
Green Space Service, Environment and Regeneration
Date(s):
1794; 1960s
Designer(s):
Humphry Repton
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:
Yes
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
The Higham's Estate Area of Special Character. Local List of Historic Parks and Gardens

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