Monday 25 June 2018

Expansion of the Japanese Garden at Hammersmith Park

Japanese Gate and Lanterns
The Japanese Garden at Hammersmith Park is to be expanded, if plans put forward by The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, in association with the Friends of the Japanese Garden, go ahead.

Twenty Japanese stone lanterns and an ornamental gate will be installed, in the course of a project which is supported by a number of Japanese businesses and by the Japanese Embassy.  

LBHF are consulting with the community, canvassing local views, so make sure to have your say. 

Aged lanterns
What's this all about?
An extension of the Japanese Garden. Money has been pledged to purchase 20 lanterns and a new ornamental gate. The lanterns will be placed alongside the cherry blossoms on the footpath leading from the South Africa Road entrance towards the Japanese Garden. The stone lanterns are of a traditional Japanese design, made in stone and standing 1.8m high. 

Ornamental Gate
A new entrance to Hammersmith Park has been constructed at the bottom of the avenue, directly opposite the entrance gate to the park. This is where the new ornamental gate will be placed.

The original 1910 Japan-British exhibition was held on the same site as Hammersmith Park, and the Japanese Garden is the only surviving relic of the event. The Exhibition, which was heavily subsidised by the Japanese Government, also boasted an ornamental gate, the Chokushimon (Gateway of the Imperial Messenger), a four-fifths replica of the Karamon of Nishi Hongan-ji in Kyoto.  The impressive gateway was moved to Kew Gardens in 1911, where it still can be admired today. 

LBHF describe the proposed new gateway as a "fantastic focal point, drawing visitors into the park and the Japanese Garden."

un-weathered new lanterns
Doesn't it all need Planning Permission?
Apparently not. Planning permission for these works was not required, as, according to LBHF, "Local Authorities can undertake works relating to ‘construction, maintenance or improvement’ in connection with the operation of any public service administered by them, provided that certain criteria are met in relation to height and volume. The relevant legislation is Class A, Part 12 of the General Permitted Development Order 2015."

Opening Ceremony & Festival
A Japanese Garden Party and Festival is to be held in the Park on the 29th July at 1pm to officially unveil the lanterns and gate.

The celebration will involve "many traditional Japanese activities", such as Japanese drumming and other cultural events. 

LBHF hope to make this celebration an annual event to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Britain-Japan Exhibition.

Japanese Garden, Hammersmith Park
Wider Consultation on 13th July (probably)
LBHF are also consulting more widely on the "wider improvement works" that will be taking place "following the consultation that was run in the park in March".

LBHF will be holding a community meeting; the location and date are still to be confirmed but most likely it will be held on 13th July in the community room at PlayFootball. 

In this meeting LBHF will be discussing the results of the consultation and presenting the priorities for the future improvement works. This will be a chance for the local community to comment on the provisional plans and LBHF "will endeavour to incorporate these where feasible".

The plan for the park will then be finalised and LBHF "will quickly get to work delivering these, with improvements to the playground being an urgent priority".
The Chokushimon originally stood in Hammersmith Park

Have your say
If you'd like to comment on the plans, the person to contact is

Alice O'Mahony
Parks Project Officer
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Pembroke Road Annex, 37 Pembroke Road, London W8 6PW
T: 020 8753 3830
M: 078 2534 2949
E: alice.o'

The Shepherd's Bush Blog offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at shepherdsbushblog(at) And don't forget to leave your views in the comments section below. 

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