The Friends of Beckenham Place Park
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More than 200 acres (80 hectares) of open space. Ancient Woodland, Grass/meadow areas and
a public pay-and-play golf course

Newsletter for October 2016.   see Events page for current and old newsletters links, as well as events for the coming months.

Christmas Event Sunday 4th December 1 to 4.30pm  see this flier
News:  Golf Course, Cafe and toilets in the mansion are officially closed from the end of October 2016. Tennis Courts will become unavailable at some time in the near future.  We are discussing the viability of the visitor centre with a Council officer, it is intended to keep it open on sunday afternoons as usual.  The toilet block adjacent to the mansion is being reopened.  

Sydney Thornbury is managing the Mansion for the next 22 months on lease from Lewisham.  Several improvements are underway in preparation for events and activities.  Some refreshment facilities are available while work is underway.

Park Lottery Bid, progress report in the newsletter.
Lewisham Council have submitted the stage 2 HLF bid. check the masterplan on their website see this  
and information on 'The Future ' page and in recent newsletters.

Comments can still be made to Lewisham Council via

Closure of the Golf Course proposed by the Lottery bid has prompted a Save Beckehham 18 campaign to prevent closure.  search Google for it, there is an online petition, website, facebook and twitter presence. Closure of the course would deny more than 500 park users access to golf locally and this decision is based on the preference of about 60 people in a survey of people who dont use the park.

Environment Agency flood alleviation scheme, see newsletter.

Lewisham Parks Forum 
a group made up of representatives of park Friends groups, for  example Friends of:  Chinbrook Meadows, Ladywell Fields, Telegraph Hill, Blythe Hill Fields, Hilly Fields, Sydenham Wells, Home Park, Mayow Park to mention a few.  The Forum will address issues and problems arising in park use and management. See the Forum page and newsletters.

Sensory Garden - Our volunteer team regularly undertake work once a month and often every 2 weeks in the growing season, and the park staff also carry out routine maintenance. Sensory Garden pdf   A leaflet explaining the uses and design of the sensory garden. Volunteers welcome. currently on 2nd and 4th saturday mornings 10am to 12noon.

Beckenham Place Nature Trail: the leaflet is on this link pdf file and on our pamphlets page via 'Events' page, or use this easy to print file for directions.  Also a .kml file  of waypoints which will work with smartphone, google earth and tablet map and gps apps to show the waypoints for the nature trail. Also, a .gpx file of the route so that you technofiles can have all the electronic aids available. I like the Maverick Android mapping app. Leaflets are still available in the visitor centre. We are working on a version that wont display upside down on a digital screen.

Contact us at

The Visitor Centre is open 1.30 to 3.30 on Sunday afternoons.

Park Features:

The first time or occasional visitor to BPP may not appreciate its true extent. The Park lies on the Lewisham/Bromley border strictly speaking between Downham, Bellingham, Beckenham and Shortlands.

It was acquired from the Cator Estate by the LCC circa 1927, passed through the hands of the GLC and then on to the London Borough of Lewisham. A 'well kept secret' from many Londoners, the park has been thought of as a private golf course or private house and grounds as it is not widely publicised. It does lie on the Green Chain Walk and Capital Ring. A railway bisects the park and the only routes joining both parts are the bridge north of woodland called the Ash Plantation or by leaving and re-entering the park in the viscinity of Ravensbourne Railway Station or bridge near Beckenham Hill Station. Hence the railway effectively divides the park into West and East.

Beckenham Place Park is the surviving nucleus of what was once a large estate of park and farm land.

The history of the park and its environs is extensive and is covered in other Friends publications and the About and History pages on this site. Information is available in the Friends of BPP Visitor Centre (see navigation hyperlink). Various references to Beckenham Place Park, The Cator family and the history are on the internet and other publications, all are subject to some correction as varioius assumptions have been made. We attempt to seek accuracy where possible. The best references have been written by Pat Manning and the late Eric Inman.  Even these are updatable by more recent discoveries enabled by records appearing on the internet.

The park's life as a public recreation area began around 1927/29 when the park was purchased by the London County Council and London Borough of Lewisham to satisfy a need for public open space in the area as the large housing estates of Bellingham and Downham were being developed.

The historic and 'listed' buildings in the park include The Mansion, The Stables and Homesteads (and Garden Cottage), Southend Lodge (gatehouse). See the About the Park page and other pages of this website for more information.