|Mayesbrook Park||Barking & Dagenham|
Mayesbrook Park was created to provide open space for Becontree Housing Estate built by London County Council, who presented the site to Barking Council in 1934. The extensive plans for its layout were only partially carried out, but its facilities included football, cricket and hockey pitches, putting green and lawn tennis courts, a boating lake, pavilions, bandstand and some formal planting. During WWII the park provided temporary army accommodation. Since the 1930s the park has been replanted and reconfigured, with new sports facilities in the northern part, including an Athletic Track.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2002
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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.
Mayesbrook Park, Lake, May 1999. Photo: S Williams
Click photo to enlarge.
Formerly known as the Western Open Belt, Mayesbrook Park came into being specifically as a response to the need to provide open space for the London County Council’s Becontree Housing Estate. The Mayes Brook runs along the western edge of the park. In 1934 the LCC presented a 116-acre site to Barking Council together with a first instalment of £2,500 (of a total contribution £5,000) towards the cost of its layout. Further funding came from City Parochial Charities, Carnegie United Kingdom Trust and the National Playing Fields Association. At the laying-out ceremony on 13/3/1934, officiated by the Mayor of Barking and Chair of the LCC, children planted trees and sang ‘The Song of Barking’ (written by Henry Carey in c. 1730).
The original proposals for the northern 60 acres included 11 football pitches, 7 cricket pitches, a hockey pitch, 18 tennis courts and a putting green, with plans for the remaining 56 acres - chiefly a large gravel pit - for an ornamental lake, pleasure grounds and walks. Provision was made for levelling the area, ploughing and sowing with seed, tar macadam footpaths and tree planting with a portion reserved for sunken gardens, children’s paddling pool, boating lake and children’s playground. The cost estimate for the work was £20,830 and the contractors, B. Sunley & Co. of Brentford, had a condition written into their contract that 85% of the labour should come from the local Labour Exchange in view of unemployment difficulties in the borough. Part of these plans were carried out and the first scheme of works included 9 football pitches, 3 cricket pitches, 1 hockey pitch, 1 putting green of 18 holes and 16 lawn tennis courts, together with boating lake, pavilions, bandstand and some formal planting. However, the full layout was not completed, in part due to the interruption of WWII during which the park provided temporary army accommodation. Although not completed, the footprint of the site for the sunken gardens is evident.
Since the 1930s the park has been replanted and reconfigured, with new sports facilities in the northern part, including an Athletic Track. Remains of c.1930s gates exist at Longbridge Road entrance.
A Century of Progress in Local Government in Barking; Souvenir in Connection with the laying out of the New Park on the Western Open Belt, Becontree, Barking, 1934