Brockwell Park was once part of a medieval estate owned by the Hospital of St Thomas, later in private ownership. It was subdivided in the early C19th when the eastern part was sold to glass merchant John Blades, for whom Brockwell Hall, now the park café, was built.
The extent of the old estate is mirrored in the park boundary today. The last private owner planned to sell the land for housing but with the support of the MPGA a first portion of land was purchased by the LCC. Brockwell Park opened in June 1892, later expanded with further land purchase. An Old English Garden was laid out in the early C19th walled garden, and the park’s features included ornamental ponds and formal bedding. Brockwell Lido was built in 1937 and has been restored, a survivor of London’s once more common open air swimming pools.
The park is mainly open parkland with grass, scattered mature trees, some of which remain from the earlier landscape, and paths are laid out between the main features. Other features in the park include the Tritton Clock Tower of 1908, which was erected to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee on 1897. Various areas of bedding, borders and terraces are to the south-east of the house. The walled garden has been the site of artists’ projects and site-specific works in recent years. To the east of the walled garden is a water garden with a chain of pools, and flowering shrubs and exotic trees.