Around Ealing Spring 2014 - Page 16

WALPOLE PARK Vista attraction As the multi-million-pound regeneration of Walpole Park draws to a close, Emilie Armstrong takes a closer look at the historical importance of what is soon to be unveiled. W alpole Park was officially handed over to the public in 1901, but its historical significance dates back to 1800 – when Pitzhanger Manor and around 28 acres of surrounding land was sold to revered architect Sir John Soane (1753-1837) for the sum of £4,500. In September last year, an ambitious – yet immensely important – project got under way to reveal the park’s connection to Sir John Soane’s legacy, as well as restore the park’s buildings and landscape for all visitors to enjoy. HERITAGE AT HEART The stretch of land behind Pitzhanger Manor – known as ‘the heritage core’ – has seen the most change, with the landscape completely remodeled and the original vista restored. 16 around ealing Summer 2014 Features such as Soane’s stone bridge have undergone delicate masonry repairs, and the ancient cedar trees have been carefully pruned. The two original water features have been recreated, and dozens of Regency period varieties of trees, flowers and shrubs have been planted. Some areas of this stretch of land will remain fenced-off until the plants and grass have successfully established. WALLED KITCHEN GARDEN In Soane’s time, the walled garden was a haven of flowers, fruit and vegetables, enclosed by red brick walls with arched entrances. He took an interest in practical