Park History

Old Paradise Gardens

The land for these gardens was originally provided to the parish by Archbishop Thomas Tenison of Canterbury for the provision of a burial ground, which he consecrated in 1705. When the grounds became full in 1816, he extended them with the purchase of additional land. However, by 1853 the grounds were full once again, and had to be closed.

By 1880, the grounds were looking abandoned and the vestry decided to turn the area into a public garden which opened in 1884.  It was at this time that the gravestones were moved to the boundary walls, which is where you see them today.

Old Paradise Gardens has a walled garden and this is the area where at one time there stood a watch house for the drunk and disorderly. To this day you can still see a commemorative stone for this building, dated 1825.