All photos of Battersea Park dated 2015-2016 are the actual ones and were taken with iPhone 5s.
The area that we now know as Battersea Park used to be marshlands called Battersea Fields. There, since the 16th century, in its isolation you could have found the Red House Inn which attracted both visitors and Londoners as they had ample of freedom to get involved in dog fighting, bare knuckle boxing and illegal horse racing.
It was equally a popular spot for duels, which not only included matters of the heart but politics. On 23 March 1829, the Prime Minister at the time, Duke of Wellington and the Earl of Winchilsea took to Battersea Fields to settle their difference on the Catholic Relief Bill. The Bill was designed to allow Catholics in Parliament.
The Catholic Relief Bill t was supported by the Duke of Wellington who feared nationwide rebellion but strongly opposed by the Earl of Winchilsea, a devout Protestant who thought that the Bill represented ‘an insidious design for the infringement of our liberties and the introduction of Popery into every department of the State’.
Chelsea area has once been a thriving industrial site and by 19th century the north of the river Thames has been growing in population very fast. Hence, in the early 1840s, master builder Thomas Cubitt and architect and town planner James Pennethorne suggested to use the 150’000 tonns of rocks from the excavation of The Royal Victoria Docks to fill the Battersea marshlands and create a public park. In 1846, the Commission of Woods and Forests bought the Red House Inn and surrounding 200 acres of land and the redevelopment of the sight began into what would become Battersea Park.
Battersea Park is a lovely park located south of the river Thames.
The park is not the primary destinations for tourists but is very popular with local Londoners. You will find a pond filled with a variety of birds and an occasional fisher, fountains, many cute walks and beautifully arranged flower beds.
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It is a very popular family destination with a small zoo for children, recreational space with swings and commercial rides and a little shop where you can rent bikes at the weekends and during school holidays.
Local schools and sport clubs take advantage of the Astro turf to play football, hockey and sporting activities. Many use the park for their morning or evening run and you can see many people proudly wearing their Marathon t-shirts. There is a sports centre with outdoors tennis courts and athletics track which are always busy during the warmer months.
There are lots of green spaces where it is possible to organize a picnic with friends and family or simply stroll along the riverside, a very romantic promenade that starts at Albert bridge and finishes at Chelsea bridge watching the sunset. All in all, this is a wonderful park where everybody can find something to enjoy and relax.
Just across the Chelsea bridge is the borough of Chelsea & Kensington and the famous shopping streets: Kings Road and Sloane Street. Battersea park will be a lovely place to unwind after a busy day of shopping.
You can find further information regarding opening times, amenities and list of upcoming events from the Wandsworth Council's website and information about hiring a banana bike at Battersea Park from London Recumbents. If you are thinking of exploring the park by bike, but you are planning a trip during the week days or without children, you can always hop on the infamous Boris bike!