The Garden Landscape Guide

Battersea Park

One of London's great nineteenth century public parks. It was laid out between 1846 and 1864 to designs by James Pennethorne and John Gibson. The site, which was originally flat and swampy, was built up using material excavated from the Royal Victoria Dock and supplied free of charge by Thomas Cubitt. Battersea retains many typically Victorian park features including a serpentine carriage drive, a formal avenue, an irregular lake, flower gardens and shrubberies. The profit which was made on the terraced houses in Albert Bridge Road and Prince of Wales Drive helped to pay for the park which they overlook. In 1951 the Festival of Britain Pleasure Gardens (design by James Gardener) were laid out in Battersea Park and the fountains survive.There is a Peace Pavilion/Peace Pagoda beside the River Thames. Wandsworth Council, with consultancy advice from Derek Lovejoy and Partners, restored the park in the 1980s.

Battersea Park is on the London Gardens Walk and included in the eBook guide to the London Gardens Walk

Prince of Wales Drive, Battersea, Town Hall, London, Greater London, England, SW11 4NJ

All year. Daily. Open dawn to dusk.

Entrance free

Visit the Battersea Park website

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Designers and Influences


  • over 3 years by Anonymous 5 / 5

    The Old English Garden, Battersea Park

    Dodging thunderstorms and road race blockades I cycled to Battersea Park to have a look at the much publicised new Old English Garden in Battersea Park.

    The Old English garden has been revived in a joint project between Thrive, the charity that uses gardening to change the lives of disabled people, Jo Malone, the fragrance company, and Sarah Price the garden designer. Jo Malone provided the money and some volunteers, Thrive the manpower and ongoing maintenance, and Sarah Price the brains, and, some would say, the looks as well.

    The garden has a roughly symmetrical and formal layout with plenty of timber seats and pergolas. The garden is surrounded by trees which gives it an enclosed secret garden feel. The sound of the water from the fountain distracts the ear from passing planes.
    The planting is light and airy, with plenty of tall transparent plants like the white Veronicastrum viginicum Album, lilac Verbena bonariensis and red Persicaria. Blocks of vibrant late summer colour are provided by burnt orange Helenium Moerheim Beauty and purple Liatris.

    The shadier areas are planted with late flowering Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle and Brunnera macrophylla Jack Frost for spring colour. Fragrance is less in evidence on a breezy day.

    The presentation of the garden is excellent, particularly as gardens at this time of year have a tendency to get a bit out of hand, and this is a testament to the quality of the planting design and the ongoing maintenance. The garden is definitely a small refuge from busy life in London.
  • over 8 years by Susan 4 / 5

    Battersea Park is a great urban green space. I take the occasional jog around it and always attend the annual fireworks display!

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