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Lungs of London - Victoria Park

The People's Park

The centre of London is extremely rich in parkland, although as you move away towards the working class areas the lakesides and grass visitors take for granted become a rarity. It is therefore surprising that Hackney and Bow have been blessed with a large park, every bit as interesting as its more famous rivals.

In 1839 it became apparent that the East End needed some parkland with the mortality rate being far higher than the rest of London, with massive overcrowding, and polluted air.


The Old Ford Canal Bridge

In 1840 a petition signed by 30,000 local residents urging Queen Victoria to open a Royal park in the East End of London.

Architects were commissioned and work began in 1845 and was completed in 1850.

The park named after Queen Victoria was to receive a visit from her in April 1873, and is said to have delighted her with its vast expanse.

An alcove seat from Old London Bridge

An alcove seat from Old London Bridge (above) with the inside inscription (below)

The park can boast two seats from old London Bridge as well as a grade II listed drinking fountain, erected by Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts in 1862.

Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts drinking fountain

During the second world war anti aircraft guns were installed with the park being closed to the public. Today the park is a wonderful treat with joggers, cyclists, tennis and football, children’s swings, and occasionally used for the odd pop festivals during the summer months.

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