Ravenscourt Park Celebrates 125th Anniversary

With special choral evensong at Holy Innocents on Sunday

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Ravenscourt Park
Ravenscourt Park

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Ravenscourt Park is celebrating its 125th anniversary this month.

The 32 acre Hammersmith park was officially opened to the public on 19 May 1888 and to mark the day, a choral evensong service will be held at the Church of the Holy Innocents, Paddenswick Road, on Sunday, May 19 at 6pm.

The park dates from medieval times when the lake, fed by Stamford Brook, was part of the moat surrounding Paddenswick (or Palingswick) Manor.

King Edward III's mistress, Alice Perrers, lived in the manor during the 14th century, and Sir Richard Gurney, Lord Mayor of London, in the 17th.

The manor house was rebuilt in 1650 and in 1747 it was sold to Thomas Corbett, Secretary to the Admiralty, who named it Ravenscourt, probably derived from the raven in his coat of arms, itself a pun on his name of corbeau , French for raven.

In 1889, the first public library in Hammersmith opened in Ravenscourt House. The house was demolished after severe damage by incendiary bombs in 1941 during World War Two. Only the stable block remains today, housing the park’s café.

Nowadays, the park is one of nine Green Flag parks in the borough – meaning that is it one of the best open spaces in the country. In fact, the park has won the award for the past four years.

Rosemary Pettit, chairman of the Hammersmith Society says: "Ravenscourt Park is a gem of a park and one of Hammersmith’s treasures. Saved from speculative development by the vision and resourcefulness of residents and public bodies, it is as valued now as it was by our Victorian forbearers. We are fortunate to have such a beautiful park to enjoy."

Cllr Greg Smith, H&F Council deputy leader, says: "Hammersmith & Fulham is lucky to have numerous parks and open spaces, each steeped in their own rich history and heritage. Ravenscourt Park is one of our most popular and tranquil parks and has certainly stood the test of time."

 

May 14, 2013