Sometimes its good to set off on a fairly aimless wander and see where you end up – in London in particular it can lead you to interesting places, and today a long walk finally found me in Kennington Park.
The park was opened during the early part of Queen Victoria’s reign, in 1854, and was the first public park in the area of what is now the London Borough of Lambeth. The Prince Consort’s Lodge, which sits on the Kennington Lane side of the park, was built as part of the Great Exhibition of 1851 as a ‘model home’ – it gets its name from the fact that building’s construction was sponsored by Prince Albert.
Elsewhere in the park you’ll find the remnants of the Tinworth Fountain (partially damaged during the Blitz, the fountain did have a sculpture at its summit but that ‘survived until 1981’ according to the information board nearby – perhaps someone stole it?) and next to it, the Civilian Memorial. This was erected in 2006 to commemorate one of the largest losses of life during the War – 100 people were killed in 1940 when a 50lb bomb fell on their air-raid shelter. The inscription, by American poet Maya Angelou reads:
“History despite it’s wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again”
The park also contains the Slade Fountain, commissioned by Felix Slade in 1861. Slade founded the London art school that still bears his name, and the fountain is based on an Italian piece that, again, was exhibited at the Great Exhibition. Venture further into Kennington Park and you’ll find what is probably its most pleasing spot – a rose pergola which, although bare of flowers because of the season, is a lovely serene space. You can find the other images from my walk today here.