Our Town Park is now on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England and is listed at Grade II.
This follows a review visit in December 2019 by Historic England and the Gardens Trust. Their report states:
‘Harlow Town Park was planned between 1949 and 1953 by the planner and architect Sir Frederick Gibberd, and the landscape architect Dame Sylvia Crowe DBE. Detailed designs were produced by landscape architect John St Bodfan Gruffydd and Harlow Urban District Council’s engineer and surveyor AWR Webb. It is a rare example of a new park associated with a first-generation new town.
The park is an environment intended for active public use, successfully blending formal park design with existing landscape features including undulating topography, gravel works and watercress beds. The design incorporates the old hamlet of Netteswell Cross, in a rare early example of a conservationist approach to planning. This is a fine example of a post-war public park where the structural framework and key features including the bandstand, the formal gardens, footpath and canalised stream survive largely intact.’
It is very pleasing that our Town Park, of which we are very proud, has been recognised nationally. It is a tribute to the original planners and designers and also to all those who have cared for it and supported and defended it over the years.
It was restored in 2016 in a £2.8m programme by Harlow Council with a £1.83m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It was the winner of a Harlow Civic Society Conservation Award in 2017.
The area listed is shown below.
You can see the full assessment report here: