This is one of many of the King George Fields that can be found across London, and the UK. Founded in 1936, the King George’s Field Foundation was set up to commemorate the recently deceased King, but in a manner that could be more widely enjoyed than a statue in London.
As with many smaller parks in London, it’s largely former graveyard and church, in this case All Saints Church, which was built in 1839 and demolished in the 1960s. The church was described as a Gothic edifice with a tower, surmounted by a lofty spire, and built from the designs of Mr. Kempthorne at a cost of upwards of £3,000.
The church long gone, the park as we see it today expanded in three phases. Initially in 1938, Bermondsey Borough Council used a grant from the King George’s Fields Foundation of £500 to convert a piece of land next to the church into a fairly basic hard-surfaced space for children.
The church already had a public garden next to it, so the two complimented each other.
The church was badly damaged during WW2, and after the war a strip of land to the east of the derelict church was added to the park. Then in 1960, the church was demolished, and the land given over to the now considerably larger park.
It’s a good open space, with some impressively large trees in the centre and plenty of planting around the edges, and as a good cut though between the housing and shopping centre, well used.
Do look at the entrance though, for the signs that this park is indeed a legacy of a King.
Today the park is managed by Southwark council, but legally protected from development by the successor to the King George’s Fields Foundation – the Fields in Trust.