Now home to several sporting facilities including football fields, a basketball pitch and a pony club, Wormwood Scrubs Park has an interesting and varied history as it wasn’t always a place of leisure and Sunday morning strolls.
At the western end of Wormwood Scrubs Park stands an imposing structure that was built using convict labour from 1987 to 1879 and still houses prisoners to this date. The building was given grade II listed status back in 2009 mainly due to its impressive gatehouse which still serves as one of the main entry points to the building.
The imposing structure can be seen from various points to the west of the park and certainly serves as a reminder of the value of freedom.
Some notable ex-residents of HMP Wormwood Scrubs include Charles Bronson, author Reginald Horace Blyth and pretender to the Polish throne, Count Geoffrey Potocki de Montalk.
If you wish to take a look a look at the prison from a safe distance, head to the Tube station from your Kensington Park Grand accommodation and take the line to East Acton station where you’ll be just a five-minute walk away from the park.
The journey takes no longer than 25 minutes, but as Wormwood Scrubs park is so vast and with so much to see and do you’ll want to make sure you enjoy a good breakfast at your Kensington hotel restaurant that morning to make sure you have enough to keep you going until lunchtime.
Next to the prison at Wormwood Scrubs Park you’ll find another, less ominous building. This is what is now known as Hammersmith Hospital and was constructed in 1905 and has since been joined by Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital that also share the site with the original hospital building.
For sports enthusiasts, Wormwood Scrubs was also home to Queens Park Rangers Football Club between 1893 and 1896 and has previously been an area used for military exercise before being given over to use by the public in 1879. Since this point, Wormwood Scrubs Park has excelled in providing a recreational area for sports teams, dog walkers or for people in the area to enjoy the warm weather in the summer months.
For those of you interested in athletics or watching a sporting event during a visit to London, the Linford Christie Sports Centre plays host to several large-scale events during the year including rugby and football matches and athletics tournaments where spectators gather to watch the UK’s up and coming talent compete in events such as discus and shot put.
Guests staying at the Park Grand Kensington London who wish to try their hand at a spot of tennis or squash can ask at the hotel’s reception who will gladly help you make a booking to use one of the centre’s many facilities.
Wormwood Scrubs is so much more than a home for modern sporting facilities, so the next time you make a trip to the area why not visit the park and take a look at the buildings that have helped give the area such a fascinating and varied history?