Tuesday 21 November 2023

Green London: Victoria Park in Autumn Splendour

Victoria Park looks lovely in the autumn sunshine. It's London’s oldest public park, opened in 1845, and is also the largest park in London's Tower Hamlets. 

As you may know, I've been blogging regularly about London's green spaces. Victoria Park is part of a wonderful green corridor stretching through East London from the Thames at Limehouse, along the Regents Canal and East End parks all the way to Hackney. It's called the Green Link Walk according to a plaque on a wall by the steps from Mare Street's bridge, opposite Viktor Wynd's Museum of Curiosities. To the right you can see a photo of the canal near Victoria Park.

The photo at the top shows the Chinese Pagoda in Victoria Park, which is pretty magnificent. The one you can see today is actually a replica of the original, which was in Hyde Park at the entrance of the Chinese Collection Exhibition of 1842 and then sold to Victoria Park in 1847. Sadly, over the centuries, it became too dilapidated to repair, but was replaced in 2012. The name has changed slightly over the years too, as it was first called a summerhouse. It was also cut off from visitors at first, as it's in the middle of a lake. A bridge was constructed later.

The park also contains other historic structures that started their life elsewhere in London. The picture on the left shows an alcove that is thought to have once been part of the old London Bridge. There are two of them in the park and they were donated in 1860. 

When I was there a young couple with a baby were sheltering in the alcove and enjoying the view. I did ask permission before taking the photo. 

I should probably add that some architectural historians think the alcoves came from Old Westminster Bridge rather than Old London Bridge, but what's a short span of water in the larger span of history?

The next picture shows trees in their autumnal splendour near the Canal Gate entrance to Victoria Park. No filters used. 

The park hosts numerous events over the course of the year, including a Sunday food market each week between 10am and 4pm. I visited Victoria Park last Sunday to go for a stroll before teaching a practical witchcraft workshop at Viktor Wynd's and fell in love with it. I'd never been there before, but I will make a point of going there again in other seasons. You can find out more about Victoria Park here

I've been blogging regularly about London's green spaces in an effort to dispel a prevalent myth that the city is all just concrete. My posts cover everything from beautiful trees in the Square Mile itself, to gardens in and around Bloomsbury, to rivers running through meadows in south London, to large parks and woods where you can wander for hours, and now East London's "People's Park" is Victoria park is affectionately called.

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