EPF Launches Park of the Month
Ealing Parks Foundation is launching 'Park of the Month' (including parks and green spaces across the Borough) to highlight some of our wonderful parks. If you haven't already, we encourage to you explore these parks, find out their history, walk through unexpected features - and enjoy!
We start with January's pick - Perivale Park
Photographs: Jane Fernley
As described by Go Parks:
A lively park with lots of activities including an athletics track, a golf course and cafe, cricket and football pitches, many walking paths including the Capital Ring, three flower meadows and a spring bulb glade, two rivers (with sighted kingfishers) and a new orchard garden with 22 varieties of fruit trees, benches for sitting (including the Nicky Hopkins memorial bench, 11 exercise machines and two tennis courts, herbal raised beds. Four local walks staring from south greenford station next to the north entrance to the park have been registed at http://www.nationalparkcity.london/station-walks. The park is part of the new greenford to gurnell greenway development. It also links as a green corridor with Brent River Park North: Great Western Railway to Marnham Fields noted for its nature and wildlife values: https://www.goparks.london/park/perivale-park-and-meadows/
For more information and to join its active Friends Group. See https://www.perivalepark.london
History of Perivale
The name of Perivale was first used in 1508, when it was spelt Pyryvale. The word seems to be a compound of perie (pear tree) and vale. It was one of the smallest parishes in Middlesex, with only 633 acres and a population of less than 100, until the twentieth century.
In the fourteenth century, there was some arable farming here, some woodland and a windmill. The church of St. Mary's Perivale dates back to the early thirteenth century at least. The Rectory house, which used to stand nearby, dated from the fifteenth century, but was demolished in 1958.
Wheat was the main crop in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In fact, the district, of which Perivale was a part, gained a high reputation for the quality of its wheat. By 1839, though, there was very little arable farming in the parish. Most of the land was used to grow grass for hay for the London market. One reason for this change was the building of the Paddington branch of the Grand Junction Canal, which ran through the parish in 1801.
The population of Perivale, before the twentieth century, was tiny. In 1664 and in 1841, there were only five inhabited buildings. These were the farm houses; Horsenden Farm to the northwest, Grange Farm and Church Farm in the southwest, Manor Farm to the east and Alperton farm to the north. Only 28 people lived in Perivale in 1801 and in 1901, only 60.
The major development in transport was the coming of the roads. These were Greenford Road, which ran north to south and the Western Avenue, built in the 1930s. Because Perivale had so few buildings, was so close to central London and now had such excellent transport links (canal, rail and road), it seemed ideal for new buildings, both industrial and residential.
Many factories were built in Perivale between 1930 and 1939. They centred on the Western Avenue, Horsenden Lane and the branch Paddington Canal. There was also industrial building to the north of the railway line and in and around Wadsworth Road and Bideford Avenue.
One of the first factories, which was built in 1929, was Sanderson Wallpapers Ltd. When they opened, they employed 900 people. By 1963, they employed 1650 people and their premises had expanded to ten acres. Perhaps the most famous factory is that facing the Western Avenue, which was opened in 1932 by Hoover Ltd. They sold vacuum cleaners and other household appliances. By 1963 they employed more than 3000 people. In 1982, they closed but the art deco building was preserved, being used by the supermarket Tesco's. Both Sanderson's and Hoover's were, in the 1930s, thought to be model factories, in which the workers enjoyed good working conditions.
Apart from the building of factories, many houses were also built. Much of this initially occurred to the north of the Western Avenue and between the railway line and the canal.
*history courtesy of Ealing Council