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Maryon Park, including Gilbert's Pit Greenwich
   

Maryon Park, including Gilbert's Pit

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The land for Maryon Park was given to the LCC in 1890 by Sir Spencer Maryon Wilson, Lord of the Manor of Charlton. The park opened in 1891, laid out on a hilly site that was once ancient woodland known as Hanging Wood, and which had also been used for sand quarrying from the early C18th until 1870. Gilbert's Pit, formerly one of three sand and chalk quarries here, adjoins the park. The park has been extended south of Woolwich Road in the late C20th.
   
Previous / Other name:
Site location: Maryon Road, Charlton
Postcode: SE7
Type of site: Public Park 
Date(s): 1890
Designer(s): J J Sexby, LCC
Listed structures:
Borough: Greenwich
Site ownership: LB Greenwich
Site management: Parks and Open Spaces Department/Friends of Maryon & Maryon Wilson Parks
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: 9am - dusk
Special conditions:
Facilities: Playground, tennis courts, basketball.
Events:
Public transport: Rail: Charlton; Woolwich Dockyard then bus. Bus: 161, 177, 180, 380, 472.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/11/2007
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.greenwich.gov.uk

Fuller information:

The 'lung' of Charlton as LCC Head of Parks, Lieut Col J J Sexby called it, the land for Maryon Park was given to the LCC on 25 October 1890 by Sir Spencer Maryon Wilson, Lord of the Manor of Charlton. The Maryon Wilson family had acquired the manor in 1767, and remained the owners until 1925, when they gave Charlton House (q.v.) to Greenwich Borough Council. The park was laid out on a site that had been used for sand quarrying from the early C18th until 1870 and Charlton Glassworks was once the largest European glassworks. A large hill fort was excavated here in 1915 where pottery dating from C1st to C5th was found, but all that is left is the ridge at the top of the hill, the site otherwise destroyed by the quarrying. Maryon Park opened in 1891, laid out with serpentine paths and steps winding around the slopes to Cox's Mount, with an area at the base levelled for sports. Within the park are a good number of mature trees, chiefly native broadleaves such as birch, hornbeam and ash. Like Maryon Wilson Park (q.v.) it was carved out of ancient woodland once known as Hanging Wood, which was at the northern edge of the manorial estate. The original woodland has been augmented with some ornamental planting, and has laurel understorey, with plane trees along Maryon Road.

Adjoining the park is Gilbert's Pit formerly one of three sand and chalk quarries, which is designated a SSSI and notable for its geological strata; two railway tunnels pass through the north of Gilbert's Pit.

Maryon Park was the set for the 1966 film, 'Blow Up' by Italian director Antonioni, and one of the genuine park keepers had a cameo role. The park has been extended south of Woolwich Road in the late C20th, with landscaping by LB Greenwich, as a consequence of houses demolished for road widening.

Sources consulted:

J J Sexby, The Municipal Parks, Gardens and Open Spaces of London (1898); Spurgeon, D, Discover Greenwich and Charlton, 1991, p178; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993) p144; Sue Swales, Meg Game, Ian Yarham, 'Nature Conservation in Greenwich', Ecology Handbook 10 (London Ecology Unit), 1989.
Grid ref: TQ418786
Size in hectares: 6.15
   
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: Yes - Borough I; Gilbert's Pit: SSSI
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: Yes - Area of Special Character of Metropolitan Importance
Other LA designation: Green Chain (Green Chain Walk)
   

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