Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Free Stuff to Do in Shepherd's Bush - Ravenscourt Park

Former stable block of Ravensourt House, now a cafe
Ravenscourt Park, like its more glamorous W11 cousin Holland Park, used to be an aristocratic estate. You can still see elements of its former elegance in the former stable block-turned cafe, and the well landscaped open spaces that invite you to take in its length and breadth in a broad circuit. Ravenscourt park is local, attractive, well managed, and completely free.

Why go to Ravenscourt Park?
Many reasons, including  tennis and basketball courts, a bowling green, an all-weather pitch, a walled garden, multiple play areas, and a paddling pool for children in summer.  Plus the cafe serves a pretty decent hot chocolate, perfect for wintery afternoons.

Ravenscourt House from an old postcard. circa late 19th century
What happened to Ravenscourt House?
It was demolished after severe damage by the Luftwaffe in 1941, which is curious since the same fate befell Holland House (of Holland Park fame), now a partially re-built ruin.

What was Hitler's intention - to destroy London's poshest houses?  Of Ravenscourt House, only the stable block remains today.  It now houses the park’s cafĂ©.

Walled Garden

How did it become a park?
In 1887, representatives of the Scott family (who owned the land) sold the estate to a developer for building. At this point efforts were made to purchase the land by public subscription in order to maintain it as an open space.

Eventually the property was acquired by the Metropolitan Board of Works, the Vestry of Hammersmith contributing one half of the purchase funds.

When did it open to the public?
The park was opened to the public on 19 May 1888.

How do you get there?
Ravencourt Park tube, and many buses which run along the Goldhawk Road.

What else is there to do?
Ravenscourt Park is very near the excellent Anglesea Arms, one of our most delicious and attractive local pubs. So, when you are done with the park, pop in for a pint. You won't regret it. The Anglesea Arms is to be found at 35 Wingate Road, W6 0UR.

The Bush Telegraph offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. Read about the Campaign to Save Hammersmith Park, find out about our new Farmer's Market, see what's on at The Bush Theatre, find out the latest news on the future of Shepherd's Bush Market, and the Council's plans to upgrade the Goldhawk Road and the Uxbridge Road. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at shepherdsbushblog@gmail.com.

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