Raphael Park, laid out over and retaining elements of an 18th-century landscape, is now a well-used public park.
Raphael Park is the western section of former landscaped grounds of Gidea Park Estate, now surrounded by suburban development. The Elizabethan Gidea Hall, which stood to the east of today's park, was rebuilt in 1720 by Sir John Eyles, who incorporated the moat into a formal layout of canals with the house at the centre of radiating avenues. A long canal called the Spoon Pond or Canal survives, now dry and laid out with tennis courts. In the late-18th century, the park was enlarged and re-landscaped less formally and the lake or serpentine canal and a new bridge were built, now called Black's Canal and Black's Bridge after the 19th-century owner. In 1897 the estate was purchased by Herbert Raphael; in 1902 he gave the Canal and 15 acres of gardens to Romford UDC for a public park. Spoon Pond and further land was added, and Raphael Park opened to the public in 1904, its Lodge at the main entrance of that date. Other remnants of the earlier landscape include the sites of the former Vineyards and Pleasure Ground and there are a number of mature trees.
Visitor FacilitiesThe park is open from 8am to dusk.
- Access & Directions
Access Contact DetailsThe park is open from 8am to dusk.
DirectionsRail: Romford; Gidea Park. Bus: 151, 174, 350, 351, 374, 565, 751, 752
- Early 20th Century