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History of Elthorne Park

The name Elthorne goes back at least one thousand years.  It was mentioned in the Domesday survey as being one of the six Hundreds of the shire of Middlesex along with Edmonton, Gore, Hounslow, Ossulstone and Spelthorne.

The origin of the park goes back to the 1500s.  The original much larger estate, called    La Bromeland,  was named after the wild yellow flowering Broom shrub, which still grows on the steep embankment of the river Brent.

In the 16th century Thomas Greshamís widow bought the freehold of ĎBroomlandí which later passed down through Osterley to the Earls of Jersey.

Fifteen years after the General Enclosure Act of 1801 the estate was reduced to 90 acres and then became known as Park Farm. At one time, with Cuckoo Farm it was one of the last two existing farms in Hanwell.

In 1908 Lord Jersey started negotiations with the Council and Middlesex County Council about the use of the land.  Whilst negotiations were going on he allowed a section of the land to be used as a temporary recreation ground.

The farmland was finally broken up c1910 and some of the land is now open space and playing fields but seven and a half acres of the site were used to form Elthorne Park.

Lord Villiers and his mother, the Countess of Jersey, officially opened the Park at 3pm on 11th June 1910.  The opening, which had been postponed because of the death of King Edward VII on 6th May 1910, was said to be a grand affair, held in a large marquee with tea being served in the nearby mission church of St Thomasís.

In July 1910 the first event to be held in the park was a show by the Hanwell and Greenford Horticultural Society, which later became an annual event. The following year in April a two-day celebration of George Vís coronation took place, which included music from the local Hanwell Band and a march by children from St Annís school to Elthorne Park. 

Although gentlemenís toilets were installed in the park from the outset, ladies had to hold on for a further inconvenient two years before emancipation brought relief in 1912.

The famous Hanwell ĎSarsení Stone can be seen just inside the main entrance to the park. This stone, which was deposited in the Ice Age, was excavated from a gravel pit where Townholme Crescent now lies.

Written  and compiled by B. W. Morgan
December 2007