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Park of the Month - July 2024
Cuckoo Park

This month we are visiting Hanwell and the well loved Cuckoo Park. The Park is shaped like a horseshoe around Hanwell Community Centre - a Grade II listed building with a fascinating history.

About Cuckoo Park

The skyline in Cuckoo Park is dominated by the tower and building of the Hanwell Community Centre a Grade ll building from 1857.  This was once a much larger facility built on land belonging to Cuckoo Farm (itself once part of the Hanwell Park Estate). The Centre was originally one of the Central London District Schools which were ‘home’ to up to 1,500 pauper children from the City of London, East London and parts of South London.  One of its most famous inhabitants was Charlie Chaplin. 

 

An area was kept as a working farm to educate and feed the children. At first the school was renowned for its harsh discipline, severe conditions and epidemics. It was essentially a self-supporting community, and children were trained in a variety of skills. the boys were in marching bands that had engagements at local social functions. Its most famous resident is probably Charlie Chaplin  who was a pupil there between 1896 and 1898.   By 1900 the 140-acre site had classrooms, residential blocks, an infirmary and sewage and gas works – and many other facilities including some recreational. Today it is a thriving Community Centre 

The park itself which wraps around the Community Centre like a horseshoe has a good mix of wild areas, and playgrounds.  The children's playgrounds are at different levels on one side of the park, alongside an activity trail.  The playgrounds have a good mix of activities including an impressive covered tube slide! 

There are football pitches, basketball hoops and a tennis court.

On the other side of the park is a well equipped outdoor gym.  There is also a small rest garden, restored in 1991 but today not in use.

The trail around the outer edge of the park takes you past wilded areas, with a large open space for play, picnics and flora and fauna spotting as this is another important area in Ealing for local wildlife.

Why Visit?

A lovely area to explore, and have a good walk around the perimeter with distance markers. Lots of open space for play and well used well equipped playgrounds.  And of course the history of the Community Centre.

Getting There:

Hanwell Community Centre and Cuckoo Park

Westcott Crescent, Hanwell W7 1PD

Bus:          E11 E1, E3

Train:       Castlebar Park (10 minute walk)

By Car:     The Community Centre has parking for 50 cars but check availability 

                 If entering the park by LittleJohn Road, be aware there is resident only

                 parking restrictions

                 

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