About this Event
Springfield Park finally opened this summer! Buzzing with dragonflies, awash with butterflies and midsummer wildflowers, local residents are thrilled with what they see! We've waited about ten years to see how this would turn out and we'd love to share it with you. Part of a huge development of the Springfield Hospital site in Wandsworth, the park was the site of 'The Surrey County Pauper Lunatic Asylum'. It is surrounded by some incredible history and this Walk combines past and present in a unique and very beautiful setting. Be amongst the first people to visit this extraordinary location, 'hidden' for so long and find out more about a very special historic place at the heart of 'Blooming Tooting'.
Looking down into the Wandle Valley, this was once the site of a manor house, whose owners included Sir John Hebdon, an arms dealer for the Russian Tsar. You can even get a view now of the restored 'Ice House' in the grounds of Burntwood School. Opening its doors in 1841, Springfield is where Hugh Welch Diamond practised his pioneering photography and renowned cat artist Louis Wain was a patient. Joan Bicknell, Dr Hamid Ghodse and Hugh Gardiner-Hill are just some of the names associated with this location, people whose work was dedicated to improving the lives of the vulnerable. The grounds also include the Share Community Nursery, Tooting's very own 'secret garden' continuing the rich horticultural heritage of this area.
Geoff Simmons runs a community history project in south west London called Summerstown182 alongside his job as a graphic designer. This involves Guided Walks and Talks, working with schools and putting up plaques. Over the last ten years a trail of these have emerged along the Wandle Valley, shining a light on some of the lesser-known history in this area. They range from the youngest soldier to serve this country in the First World War to a ground-breaking plaque acknowledging Romany Gypsy and Traveller heritage in Wandsworth. The fertility which nourished The Daffodil King and The Watercress Queen will be spotlighted again this year with a plaque unveiling on 23 September acknowledging Rollisson's 'Lost Nursery' whose grounds bordered the Springfield site. Have a look on Geoff's blog for more details or follow @summerstown182 on twitter.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Entrance to Burntwood School on Burntwood Lane, Burntwood Lane, London, United Kingdom