Southwark Park Rotherhithe London SE16: We moved to an apartment near London Bridge over two years ago and have only recently discovered the spectacular Southwark Park. I’m not sure why we hadn’t visited before, but now we have had the pleasure, we will return as often as we can. It is a large park packed full of attractions including the Ada Salter Rose Garden, a Wildlife Garden, Lake, Bandstand, Bowls Club and some historical points of interest. It is a family-friendly green space with a relaxed vibe, so make sure you visit soon. Read on to discover more about Southwark Park Rotherhithe London SE16.
Southwark Park Attractions
The park has Green Flag status and is located in Rotherhithe, London SE16 and managed by the London Borough of Southwark. It was opened 1869 by the Metropolitan Board of Works, and the design is by Alexander McKenzie. The 63 acres is divided by Gomm Road, so make sure you explore both sides of the park. You might also want to visit the King’s Stairs Gardens, which is opposite the Jamaica Road gate entrance.
If you enter via the Jamaica Road Gate, you will notice the beautiful bandstand which dates back to 1833. It was initially in the Royal Horticultural Society grounds at South Kensington before being moved to the park. In 2001 a replica of the 1833 bandstand from the Great Exhibition was replaced with Heritage Lottery Funds.
Just before you reach the bandstand, you will see a public memorial to honour a working-class man called Mr Jabez West, a member of a local Temperance Society (movement against drinking alcohol).
Look out for the Southwark Park Bowls Club which has a well-kept green and bowling pavilion.
Southwark Bowls Club
The Wildlife Garden is a mini woodland so make sure you walk through that. It is a shady spot which you can enjoy on hot, sunny days.
Cross Gomm Road and you will see two statues – the Caryatides of Rotherhithe Old Town Hall which initially flanked the main entrance. The building got damaged during the second world war by German air raids so was sadly demolished. After a period of being located within the Heygate Estate near the New Kent Road, they were placed in the park in 2011.
Caryatides of Rotherhithe Old Town Hall
You can sit down when you reach the gorgeous Ada Salter Rose Garden. Ada Salter was an English social reformer, environmentalist, Quaker, president of the Women’s Labour League and the National Gardens Guild. She became the mayor of Bermondsey in 1922 and the first female Labour mayor. Her husband, Alfred Salter, a Doctor and MP for West Bermondsey built the garden in 1936.
Ada Salter Rose Garden
Look out for memorial stone dedicated by the mayor on behalf of the Bermondsey Metropolitan Borough Council to Mrs Ada Salter. Her life was devoted to the ‘Beautification of Bermondsey’ (planting thousands of trees).
Ada Salter Memorial Stone
The Lake wasn’t an original feature of the park, and it came about when the Rotherhithe Vestry called upon the Metropolitan Board of Works to add an Ornamental Lake. Work began in 1885 with a Lake Filling Ceremony. Queen Victoria gifted a pair of swans. Today you can spot Swans, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Moorhens and Canada Geese on the Lake. Boating facilities were added later, and you will see the Boathouse nearby.
The Southwark Park Galleries is an art gallery exhibition space, so keep an eye open for events. Pop into the Pavilion Café for a cup of tea and slice of cake.
Other amenities include a children’s play park, tennis courts, outdoor table tennis and Southwark Athletics Centre.
Southwark Park Rotherhithe London SE16 Information
Southwark Park’s address is Gomm Road, London SE16 2ET. You can enter the park via various gates on Gomm Road, Jamaica Road, Lower Road and Southwark Park Road. The nearest tubes are Bermondsey and Canada Water. If you are driving, you can park at Hawkstone Road. The park opens at 7.30 am with varying closing times which are earlier during the winter months and later in summer. For more information, please refer to the Southwark Council Parks Website and the Southwark Park Wikipedia Page. To see more photographs of the area take a look at my Love Rotherhithe London Pinterest Board. Enjoy your visit to this beautiful park.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Thanks: Homeboy for visiting the park with me.
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