'Springfield Revealed!' Twilight Tour of new park & historic hospital site

Fri Jun 07 2024 at 06:00 pm to 08:00 pm UTC+01:00

Entrance to Burntwood School on Burntwood Lane | London

Geoff Simmons, Summerstown182
Publisher/HostGeoff Simmons, Summerstown182
'Springfield Revealed!' Twilight Tour of new park & historic hospital site
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A guided twilight walk through the historic site of Springfield Park, SW17 - now the location of London's first public park since 2012!
About this Event

Springfield Park has been open for almost a year! Buzzing with dragonflies, awash with butterflies and midsummer wildflowers, local residents were thrilled with what they saw and there are lots more good things coming! 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. We would love you 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. And we remember the dark times, some very recent and how we have learned from the tragedies. The grounds also include the Share Community Nursery, Tooting's very own 'secret garden' continuing the rich horticultural heritage of this area.

A Wandsworth resident for over 30 years, 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. 'Planet Tooting' is an ongoing initiative championing the outstanding migrant contribution to our neighbourhood which resulted in a blue plaque on Tooting Market. Last year we commemorated the Corruganza Boxmakers, 44 trailblazing young women whose victorious strike action was a marker in the struggle for women's rights in the workplace. Have a look on Geoff's blog for more details or follow @summerstown182 on Instagram or Twitter.


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Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Entrance to Burntwood School on Burntwood Lane, Burntwood Lane, London, United Kingdom

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