Inventory Site Record

Lloyd Park, including Aveling Fields

Lloyd Park, including Aveling Fields (Waltham Forest)

Brief Description

Lloyd Park was once known as Winns Playing Fields and was formerly part of an extensive estate. The Water House, now the William Morris Gallery, was built c.1750 and became Morris's boyhood home from 1848-56; the grounds contained a moat that still exists today. It became the home of the wealthy newspaper owner Edward Lloyd, whose family gave the house and its grounds to Walthamstow UDC for a new public park in 1898. It opened to the public on 28 July 1900, with formal gardens near the house and moat with island to the north. Between 1912-21 it was extended when c.6.5 hectares of the adjoining Aveling Park Estate were purchased, providing sports pitches, playgrounds, tennis courts and bowling greens. To commemorate the centenary of Lloyd Park, a time capsule was buried in the lawn outside the Gallery on 28 July 2000. The park and gallery are undergoing major works in 2011/12, including restoration of historic features as well as provision of new facilities.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
The Winns; Water House; Winns Playing Fields
Site location:
Forest Road/Winns Terrace/Bedford Road, Walthamstow
E17 4PP
Type of site:
Public Park
Waltham Forest
Open to public?
Opening times:
Park:7.30am - sunset. Gallery: Tues-Sat & 1st Sun each month 10am-1pm/2-5pm.
Special conditions:
Tennis, basketball, bowling, skate park, play areas; Tree Trails; William Morris Gallery - permanent collection + temporary exhibitions (free admission)
(check new programme when park and William Morris Gallery re-open)
Public transport:
Tube: Walthamstow Central (Victoria); Rail: Walthamstow Central then bus. Bus: 34, 97, 123, 215, 275, 357

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/03/2015
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.;

Full Site Description

The Water House was built in c.1750 and between 1848 and 1856 it became the family home of William Morris (1834-96); together with its gardens it is now the William Morris Gallery in Lloyd Park. The estate was known at various times as Hawkes, Copp, Cricklewood and Whynnes. Records indicate that there was an earlier house here from the C15th, possibly on the island surrounded by the moat. The OS map of 1835 shows the current house as 'the Winns', with a small circular carriage sweep, and outbuildings and gardens on three sides, that to the rear including the large rectangular moated enclosure, encircled by trees and a perimeter walk, with a bridge leading to an island with trees and two fishponds. William Morris was born in 1834 nearby in Elm House (now demolished) before his parents moved to Woodford Hall where he spent his childhood. After his father died in 1847 the family moved to The Water House, which at that time was on the outskirts of town. Throughout his boyhood Morris explored the countryside and became imbued with a love of flowers that he never lost, and which inspired his later work. At that time 'the moat was stocked with pike and perch; there the boys fished, bathed and boated in summer, and skated in winter'.

In 1856 the Water House was purchased from the Morrises by the family of Edward Lloyd (1815-90), publisher of the 'Daily Chronicle' and 'Lloyds Weekly London Newspaper' who had made a substantial fortune and brought up a family of 25 children. The Lloyds left the property in c.1885 although it was not sold until 1898. Frank Lloyd then offered the house to Walthamstow Urban District Council with 9.5 acres of land on condition that the Council bought the adjacent 9.75 acres. He had wanted the new park to be called the William Morris Park, but the Council decided upon the name of Lloyd Park, and it was opened to the public on 28 July 1900 by the radical mining MP, Sam Woods.

Although proposals were made in 1900s to use The Water House as a museum to commemorate Morris, who had died in 1896, it was not until 1934 that definite plans were formed and donations received from people including the painter Frank Brangwyn and Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo. It was opened as the William Morris Gallery by Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1950. Among the early visitors was Queen Mary, whose husband George V had given Morris & Co. the Royal Warrant for its contributions to the 1911 Coronation. Since 2011 the Gallery has been undergoing major redevelopment costing over £5million, and is due to re-open in July 2012. The project is part-funded by an HLF award of £1.5million, matched by Waltham Forest Council, whose motto, ‘Fellowship is Life’, is taken from William Morris.

When it became a public park, the semi-formal layout indicated for the grounds immediately surrounding the Water House almost entirely disappeared and the land to the east was built over; the grass lawn to the west was re-landscaped in the late C20th. A bowling green was laid out to the north-west of the house, used by among others the Walthamstow Ladies Bowls Club. Beyond this, a small 'scented garden for the visually impaired' was provided. Directly behind the house balustraded terraces were laid out by the UDC in 1899, with municipal-style bedding and coniferous trees, which descended to a C20th wooden aviary sited between the terraces and the moat. The moat's perimeter walk was later asphalted, and it is surrounded by notable chestnuts and willows. A C19th 'rustic' footbridge of wrought iron crosses the moat on its southern side to the island, which became the site of the Waltham Forest Theatre, with an asphalt car park and vehicular access via a bridge to the north-west. A small circular fishpond at the entrance to the park on the eastern side of the house was faced with somewhat crudely-designed contemporary tiles. Lloyd Park has a collection of fine trees, including a large plane near the moat probably planted after Morris's time that was nominated (unsuccessfully) for the Great Trees of London scheme. Other trees include a large Judas tree 5-10 metres from the eastern side of the house, and at the back of the house are 3 or 4 golden cypresses with light green foliage, the largest cypresses of that variety in Britain. A 'Tapestry Tree Trail' in Lloyd Park included every tree referred to in Morris's poem 'Tapestry Trees' (1891), most of which were especially planted in March 1996 to commemorate the centenary of his death. The park's wildfowl collection included over 25 varieties of bird, notably waterfowl, and it had a breeding/welfare aviary, due to be removed as part of the park's restoration. To commemorate the centenary of Lloyd Park, a time capsule was buried in the lawn outside the William Morris Gallery on 28th July 2000.

In 1912 the park was extended when 16 acres of fields of the adjoining Aveling Park Estate were purchased by the UDC. They were laid out for public recreation by 1921, known as Aveling Park and now within Lloyd Park. The name Aveling derives from a smaller property in Chingford Road consisting of four fields with some outlying fields in the marshes. Aveling Park had a separate entrance from Brettenham Road, a rectangular area of grassed open space surrounded by a line of perimeter trees on 3 sides and bisected centrally by a tree lined pathway. This led to children's play areas, a bowling green, a number of one-storey buildings containing a café and artists' studios/gallery, a small rose garden, and tennis courts, before reaching its boundary with Lloyd Park, marked by a railed footpath running east to west. A number of sculptures were erected in the park, including in the area of the Aveling Bowling Club.

The Friends of Lloyd Park was formed in 2004 to represent park users in the ongoing management and development of Lloyd Park and Aveling Park, which are now being restored and refurbished following the successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid. Work commenced in June 2011, due to be completed in April 2012. The contractors, Jerram Falkus Construction Ltd, had previously undertaken restoration works in Coronation Gardens (q.v.) and Langthorne Park (q.v.). During the restoration much of the park is closed apart from the north western part of Aveling Fields, accessed via the Brettenham Road and Winns Avenue entrances only, which provide access to the natural play area and open area for ball games, as well as the Lloyd Park Centre and the two Bowls Clubs. The restoration includes improvements to lighting, seating, footpaths and railings within the park, with restoration of the ornate railings and gates at the Forest Road entrance, and also restoration of the bridge to the island. A new Hub Building will replace the Changing Room Gallery with a new gallery, café, toilets and parks office and the artists' studios will be refurbished. New play areas and a new, relocated, Skate Park will be provided, together with a third tennis court and refurbishment of existing tennis and basketball courts and a new Bowls Club Pavilion. Near the house, the front drive and historic garden areas including the Terraced Gardens are being restored, and a new William Morris Garden created on the site of the sensory garden. A new walkway will overlook the formal gardens as well as new paths and routes laid out. The building adjacent to the Lodge is being converted as a base for Friends of Lloyd Park and signage and interpretative material will provide links between the gallery and park. The aviary is being removed and theatre on the island demolished, the latter to be replaced by an informal performance space, with a new bridge to the north of the island linking to the new Hub. Landscaping works includes tree planting around the park perimeter, marginal planting around the moat edge for nature conservation, and a nature area in Aveling Fields.

While the William Morris Gallery is closed for redevelopment, through a partnership with Two Temple Place on the London Embankment, a major exhibition of highlights from the collection is being shown, 'William Morris: Story, Memory, Myth' (27 October 2011- 29 January 2012). When it re-opens, the Gallery will have innovative new displays, a new Tea Room, a dedicated learning space and a programme of temporary exhibitions, activities and events for all ages.

Sources consulted:

Victoria County History of Essex; Walthamstow Antiquarian Society; Guy Williams, London in the Country: The Growth of Suburbia, Hamish Hamilton, 1975; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); LB Waltham Forest 'Lloyd Park Master Plan' July 2011

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Waltham Forest
Site management:
Green Space Service, Environment and Regeneration; Friends of Lloyd Park
1750s; 1898/9
Listed structures:
LBII*: The Water House (William Morris Gallery). LBII: 2 K6-type telephone kiosks outside Water House
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:
Yes - Local Importance (part)
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Local List of Historic Parks and Gardens; Premier Park

Lloyd Park, including Aveling Fields

Lloyd Park - Photo: Colin Wing
Date taken: 17/08/17 11:51
Click photo to enlarge.


Click a photo to enlarge.

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