Lyle Park was opened on 24 July 1924 by Sir Leonard Lyle, JP on land that was gifted to West Ham by the Golden Syrup manufacturer Abraham Lyle & Son. The park occupies an important site overlooking the Thames, and is one of only two riverside parks in the borough, the other the newly created Thames Barrier Park. The design of the park changed over the years, and it now contains a set of ornamental wrought iron gates, originally the entrance gates to Harland & Wolff Ltd, ship builders, a reminder of the industrial heritage of the area.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2012
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The area had developed from c.1850 particularly as a result of the Royal Victoria Docks, with the station opening here in 1863. By 1859 the area had become known as Silvertown after the rubber and telegraph works of S W Silver & Co., founded in 1852 but demolished in the 1960s. Abraham Lyle & Son was one of a number of food processors that came here from the west of Scotland and established a factory at Plaistow Wharf in 1881. In 1878 Henry Tate and Sons of Liverpool had moved to Thames Wharf where they manufactured the sugar cube. The two firms amalgamated in 1921 although they kept their separate sites.
Lyle Park is laid out on a rectangular piece of land fronting the Thames near Plaistow Wharf at the south, with a narrower strip leading to Bradfield Road in the north. The Ordnance Survey map of 1951-52 shows the terrace fronting the river with a bandstand surrounded by a circle of trees and ornamental gardens, and a flight of steps leading down to a recreation ground with a perimeter path. In this lower area is a drinking fountain, which was erected by public subscription and dedicated to 'the men of West Silvertown' who died in WWI. Between Bradfield Road and the main recreation area, the 1951/2 map shows tennis courts, a bowling green and putting green; the bowling green had disappeared by 1970 and the putting green had been extended, but this area is now planted as a heather garden. The entrance to the park now has a small garden area with lawn and flower beds, next to which is a children's playground. By 1970 the upper terrace had also been redesigned, with the bandstand removed and the path system reconfigured around an informal area of lawns, trees and flower beds.
A set of ornamental wrought iron gates was installed on this upper terrace in 1994, reflecting the industrial heritage of this area. These were originally the entrance gates to Harland & Wolff Ltd, ship builders, ship repairers and engineers, which had opened in Woolwich Manor Way in 1924, to close in 1972.
LB Newham Parks Archive; Landscape Design Associates Report on Heritage Value of 9 Parks, for LB Newham, July 1997.