Jersey Gardens was built in the interwar period when there was a huge expansion of the suburbs and road and rail networks. The new A4 (The Great West Road) became the focus for the ribbon development of new factories and housing. The 'Golden Mile' of new factories built in the Art Deco style lies about ½ mile to the east of Jersey Gardens. Several of these factories, like the Gillette Building built in 1936 still survive.
The influx of new households into the area meant that there was an urgent need to plan for future recreational facilities. In June 1927, 5 acres of land were bought by the Urban District of Heston and Isleworth from the Osterley Sand and Gravel Company. The Ministry of Health sanctioned the borrowing of £2000 for the purchase.
Planned as an important local space for recreation Jersey Gardens was created at a time when one of the key influences on park development was the recognition that there was a link between public health and recreation. Throughout the 1930's the Ministry of Health sanctioned loans to public authorities for the purchase and development of land for recreation.
The Creation of Jersey Gardens
Jersey Gardens opened to the public in 1931 and is one of seven parks built and/or restored in the Borough in the interwar period, but it is the only one to feature a substantial rock garden. It is also an example of a strictly linear park with gardens designed to cater for all ages.
Its design is unusual as the facilities in the park were each given their own separate space and boundary rather than being incorporated into an overall park design.
Jersey Gardens contained a substantial sunken rock garden set in green surroundings; a planted alleyway separating this area from a small central garden laid out with grass, a peripheral walk, trees, shrubs and seats; a hard-surfaced area for tennis etc; and a children’s playground built on top of a World War 2 air raid shelter. Five years later, in 1963, the bowling green and library opened to the west of Jersey Gardens.
In its heyday in the 1950’s, Jersey Gardens was a highly managed and intensively maintained horticultural showpiece, which was well known and visited from other parts of London and further afield.
The scale and sophistication of the original rock garden makes Jersey Gardens a site of particular historic interest. Although now much overgrown, sufficient original fabric remains for a historically based restoration. The Garden appears on the London Inventory of Green Spaces. The alpine rockery is an unusual feature in London and is listed in the London Inventory of Historic Green Spaces.
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