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Blondin Park and Blondin Nature Area Ealing
   

Blondin Park and Blondin Nature Area

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1928 Ealing Town Council decided to acquire 17.25 acres of land for public open space. Middlesex CC made a contribution of a quarter of the cost of the 9.25 acre recreation ground, conditional on this portion of the land being permanently dedicated to public use. It opened as Northfields Recreation Ground but in 1957 it was renamed Blondin Park after the French acrobat and tightrope walker, Charles Blondin, who had retired to this area. Blondin Nature Area was opened in 1997 and planted with a community orchard, wildflower meadow and pond.
   
Previous / Other name: Northfields Recreation Ground and Leisure Gardens
Site location: Boston Manor Road/Blondin Avenue/Windmill Road/Niagara Avenue
Postcode: W5
Type of site: Public Park 
Date(s): 1928; 1997
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
Borough: Ealing
Site ownership: LB Ealing
Site management: Leisure & Parks Service, Acton Ranger Team; Friends of Blondin Park
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities: Playground, sports pitches. Nature Area: community orchard, wildflower meadow, pond, playround, nature reserve
Events: Apple Day and other events
Public transport: Tube: Boston Manor, Northfields (Piccadilly). Bus: E3, E8
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/09/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.ealing.gov.uk/services/environment/parks_and_open_spaces

Fuller information:

The land was originally part of Boston Farm. In 1928 Ealing Town Council decided to acquire 17.25 acres of land for public open space. Middlesex County Council at first offered to contribute up to 3,072 but reduced this amount when ETC proposed to use 4.5 acres for school playing fields and 3.5 acres for allotments. MCC's contribution of 1,586.55 was for a quarter of the cost of the 9.25 acre Recreation Ground and was conditional on this portion being permanently dedicated to such use. It opened as Northfields Recreation Ground but by 1957 had been renamed Blondin Park after the French acrobat and tightrope walker, Charles Blondin (1824-97).

Blondin, real name Jean Francois Gravelet, had retired to this area and lived in Niagara House at the southern end of what was then called Northfield Lane, where he died. This was formerly an old farmhouse, which was part of the manor of Coldhawe or Cold Hall, the Manor House of which had been demolished in 1858 although its garden still existed until the early C20th. Blondin was famous for crossing the Niagara Falls in 1859 on a 110 foot long tightrope; on subsequent crossings he added circus stunts such as being blindfold, walking on stilts, carrying a man on his back, and pushing a wheelbarrow. In 1957 Blondin Park was the venue for a Ealing & Hanwell Boy Scouts' Pageant and Golden Jubilee of Scouting and centenary year of the founder Baden Powell.

Blondin Nature Area was opened in 1997 and planted with a community orchard, wildflower meadow and pond. Friends of Blondin was set up in 1998 to assist management of the site.

Sources consulted:

LB Ealing website; Chambers Biographical Dictionary; Charles Jones, 'Ealing from Village to Corporate Life, or 40 Years of Municipal Life', nd, (c1903?); Middlesex County Times 4/5/1929; 1957.
Grid ref: TQ169788
Size in hectares: ?3.95 + Nature Reserve?
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade :
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List:
In Conservation Area: No
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: Yes (part) - Archaelogical Interest Area
Other LA designation:
   

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