Mountsfield Park opened in 1905 and has been greatly enlarged. It is a key park in Lewisham. photo: Stuart Cankett, geograph.org.uk
|Area||13 hectares (32 acres)|
|Operated by||London Borough of Lewisham|
|Status||Open year round|
History of the park
The core area of the park was originally part of Mountsfield, a substantial house and grounds, built in 1845 for the noted entomologist Henry Tibbats Stainton by his father as a wedding gift. The house and some 2.5 hectares (6 acres) of parkland lying to the south of it were bequeathed for a park by his widow in 1903, with the park opening to the public in August 1905.
Over time, the park was substantially enlarged, with land bought from the School Board for London and further allotment land acquired. An area used for a short time as a football ground by Charlton Athletic FC was added to the park in 1923/4. A bombed row of houses in George Lane was added after World War II and a further tranche of land formerly used as playing fields by Catford Boys School in Brownhill Road was added in 1994.
The house itself, which stood in the north-east corner of the park, was demolished in 1905, but stables and outbuildings were retained and used as park keepers’ buildings until a fire destroyed them in 1969. A former museum for Stainton’s entomology collections was a tearoom until its demolition in 1981.
Layout and notable features
Today, the park extends to 13 hectares (32 acres) and the main entrance is on Stainton Road, which runs alongside the eastern side of the park. Facilities include a football pitch, tennis courts, ball court and children’s play area. Because of its size, location and parking, it is often used for large events, including Lewisham Borough Council’s People’s Day event in July, typically attracting crowds of over 30,000.
The park also includes a bandstand, meadow area and ornamental garden, while areas of high ground offer views west over Catford and towards Crystal Palace. It is considered a key park by the borough and is patrolled by park keepers.
- "London Gardens Online". London Gardens Online. 1905-08-07. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- "Mountsfield Park, Hither Green, c. 1910 | Lewisham Galleries". Ideal Homes. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- "Lewisham Council - Mountsfield Park". Lewisham.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- Friends of Mountsfield Park
- 2005 Museum of London archaeological impact assessment, detailing park history and topography