Mountsfield House was built in 1845 as a wedding present by his father for Henry Tibbats Stainton. It was bequeathed for a public park by his widow in 1903 and opened on 7 August 1905. At that time the property had c.2.5 hectares of parkland to the south of the house, and this became the core of Mountsfield Park. Stainton is recalled in a local road name. Mountsfield Park was extended in 1925 by c.11 hectares to the west on land that had previously been fields, one of which had been used by Charlton Athletic between 1921-24. The park formerly included an open air theatre, an avenue from Brownshill Road, drinking fountain, and ponds, all of which have now disappeared.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2012
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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.
Mountsfield Park - Photo: Candy Blackham
Click photo to enlarge.
There were several greens in Lewisham, and two of them were called Hither (nearer) Green and Further Green. Hither Green, near the entrance to the former hospital, was on the site of a hamlet called Romborough, which had not been inhabited since the time of the Black Death. Hither Green was a wooded area in the Middle Ages, but by the C18th the trees had mostly been felled, and the first houses were built. More houses followed in the C19th, many of them substantial residences. Mountsfield House was built in 1845 as a wedding present by his father for Henry Tibbats Stainton, a famous entomologist (1822-92). It was bequeathed for a public park by his widow in 1903 and opened on 7 August 1905. At that time the property had c.2.5 hectares of parkland to the south of the house, and this became the core of Mountsfield Park. The house, which was in the north east corner, was demolished in 1905 as it was deemed unsuitable for public usage, but a number of outbuildings such as the stables remained as park keeper's headquarters until burnt down in a fire in 1969. Stainton's detached museum on the eastern boundary, which had been built to house his specimens in c.1860, became the refreshment room but was also later demolished in 1981.
Around the sports fields to the south of the park are hawthorn scrub and old hawthorn and elm hedge near the playground. The park's current features include a formal rose garden with pergola on brick piers in the north part, which is shown on the OS map of 1951; a display of ornamental conifers, including cypress and juniper, near the entrance; a walk along the ridge with fine views and a C20th circular shelter or bandstand in timber and tile. There are wide expanses of grass and playing fields and C19th oaks and clumps of thorn, as well as specimen trees that include gingko, Turkey oak, horse chestnut, holm oak and good number of mature London planes. A Kentucky coffee-tree, brought to Britain in 1812, is an unusual sight.
John Archer, Ian Yarham, 'Nature Conservation in Lewisham', Ecology Handbook 30, London Ecology Unit, 2000; Dedication of Mountsfield Park, 1905.