Boston Manor Park

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Boston Manor Park
Flickr - law keven - On a Cold ^ Frosty Morning.....jpg
Boston Manor Park on a winter's morning photo: Keven Law, geograph.org.uk
Type public park
Location London, England
Coordinates 51°29′28″N 0°19′12″W / 51.491°N 0.32°W / 51.491; -0.32Coordinates: 51°29′28″N 0°19′12″W / 51.491°N 0.32°W / 51.491; -0.32
Area 11.36 hectares (28 acres)
Created 1924 (1924)
Operated by London Borough of Hounslow
Open 8am-dusk
Status Open year round
Website hounslow.gov.uk

Boston Manor Park is a large public park in the London Borough of Hounslow. A combination of woodland and open space, with an area adjoining the Grand Union Canal, it was created in 1924 from part of the historic estate of the 17th-century stately home Boston Manor.

History of the park[edit]

The Boston Manor estate is thought to date back to at least 1163 and had a series of influential owners. At one time, it was part of the estate of royal financier Thomas Gresham, who also owned neighbouring Osterley Park.[1] The house that survives in the centre of the park dates from 1623. Just under a century later, the grounds were described as comprising: "gardens, walls, walks, courts, 5 fish ponds . . . Plantation and nursery computed to be 3 acres . . . Whole being well wooded and watered."[1] In 1670, the estate was sold for just over £5,000 to the Clitherow family, and it remained in their ownership for the succeeding 250 years.[1]

In the late 18th century, some land was sold to enable construction of the Grand Junction Canal (later to become a section of the Grand Union Canal), with Clitherow Lock – then the second lock from the Thames – being built on the estate.[1] By the late 19th century, this part of London had become urbanised and increasingly shabby, but the estate remained a rural island – containing fine views, historic trees, roses and kitchen garden.[1]

Estate dispersal and park opening[edit]

By 1918, the Boston Manor estate had become untenable and the Clitherow family decided to sell it. Estate agent's particulars described an estate containing glasshouses for growing melons and cucumbers, grapevines and a 200-yard herbaceous border. The house did not reach its reserve price so, in 1923, Colonel Stacey Clitherow sold the manor and 50 acres to Brentford Urban District Council.[1] Some land was developed as housing and the park was opened to the public on 11 September 1924.[1]

An ornamental lake with island, dating from the era when this was a grand estate, stands close to Boston Manor

Park layout[edit]

Comprising an area of 11.36 hectares (28 acres) surrounding the manor house, the park is accessed from Boston Manor Road on the eastern perimeter.[2] The construction of the M4 motorway in 1964-5 was the biggest alteration to the park landscape, dissecting the park from north-west to south-east perimeters.[1] The Grand Union Canal and River Brent run along the western perimeter, the canal taking in what is now known as Clitheroes or Clitheroe's Lock 99.[3][4]

The M4 cuts through the park

Features of interest[edit]

The canalside is a designated Nature Conservation Area.[1] Notable trees include fine old cedars, some of which may date back to 18th-century plantings by the Clitherow family.[1] A large ornamental pond is to the north of the manor house and part of the original garden wall remains.[1] Thames Rivers Trust has undertaken work at the stepped weir at the park to assist the migration of elver, installing an 'elver pass' in 2012.[5]

Recent developments[edit]

Recent works to the park include the creation of a wildflower meadow in 2006 and the restoration of the walled garden. General upgrades have included replanting of shrubs, trees and herbaceous borders. The park first won a Green Flag Award in 2005.[1]

Activities in the park[edit]

The park is under the overall management of London Borough of Hounslow and includes three tennis courts, a basketball court and children's play area.[2] The manor house is open for tours and special events.[6] The Brentford Festival was an annual event held in the park between 2005–12, before moving to Blondin Park.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Boston Manor Park". londongardensonline.org. London Gardens Online. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Boston Manor Park". hounslow.info. London Borough of Hounslow. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Is this the right way to Braunston". grandunioncanalwalk.co.uk. Grand Union Canal Walk. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "In your area". canalrivertrust.org.uk. Canal & River Trust. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Boston Manor Weir Completion Report". thamesriverstrust.org.uk. Thames Rivers Trust. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Boston Manor House". hounslow.info. London Borough of Hounslow. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Brentford Festival". brentfordfestival.org.uk. Brentford Festival. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 

External links[edit]