The History of Bishops Park
A People's Park
- Published to coincide with the park’s re-opening following a restoration of elements of its original design
- Provides an illustrated history of the park
In the 19th century, the great Victorian public park movement carved out green spaces for Britain’s rapidly growing urban populations. Parks fulfilled an urgent public health need and were thought to moderate social behaviour, providing an elevating alternative to raucous drinking houses and dog fights. This illustrated history celebrates one of London’s unsung but much-loved public spaces, Bishops Park, which adjoins Fulham Palace in west London. The first granting of land for the purpose of this park was made in 1883 by the Bishop of London, resident of Fulham Palace. Unlike many late Victorian parks in London, it was not laid out in one grand sweep but accreted piecemeal around the palace over a period of 20 years, and is so closely enmeshed with its neighbour that the two sites are often thought of as one. This book is published to coincide with the re-opening of the park following a major new project, backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to restore key elements of the original design and improve facilities.