|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
London Fields is a park in Hackney, London, although the name also refers to the immediate area in Hackney surrounding it and London Fields station. It was once historically common land adjoining the Hackney Central area of the London Borough of Hackney. The park covers an area of 12.65 hectares (31.3 acres), and includes sporting and recreation facilities. The park's history is recorded as early as the 13th century, and it has been known as London Fields since the mid-16th century.
In 1275, the area now known as London Fields was recorded as common pasture land adjoining Cambridge Heath.
The park was first recorded by name in 1540; in the singular as 'London Field'. Still common ground, it was used by drovers to pasture their livestock before taking them to market in London. By the late 19th century the name had become pluralised to 'London Fields' and parts of the Fields were being lost to piecemeal development. There was a threat of comprehensive development of the park in 1860 but this threat was averted.
In WW2 the park hosted an anti-aircraft battery in the south-west corner (the tarmac is still visible under the grass) and a bomb shelter in the vicinity of the tennis courts.
The area was heavily bombed during the Blitz and houses along the northern and eastern edges of the park were among those destroyed. These houses had been built on land that was originally part of London Fields and the land was subsequently restored to the park. The previous boundary is marked by a wide arc of Plane trees.
Sport and facilities
London Fields features a cricket pitch, a heated 50m lido and lido cafe, grass areas, designated barbecue area, a small BMX track, tennis courts, a table tennis table, toilet blocks and two children's play areas. In 2013 the Council turned a sandy, gritty area of London Fields into a pictorial meadow the size of a football pitch.
There is a public house called the Pub on the Park on the east side of the park; this was opened in 1855 and known as the Queen Eleanor until 1992.
The park hosts a market each Saturday where a wide variety of producers from around the country sell hot foods, hand-made jewellery, gifts, childrenswear and vintage clothing. On Sundays, the local London Fields Primary School is the base for the London Fields Farmers' Market and there is a crafts market adjacent to the building next door.
A document in Hackney library records a game of cricket to have been played on the park as early as 1802, and the cricket square on London Fields continues to host competitive games throughout the summer (late April – mid September). Several teams use the park as their home pitch, most notably London Fields CC , based at the Pub on the Park. During the summer the park can be extremely busy with many people combining an afternoon's picnic with watching the cricket. The Turley End of the ground is a popular vantage point for those watching the cricket.
The park is used as the starting point for an annual night-time cycle ride called the Dunwich Dynamo.
Parts of this article (those related to Crime) need to be updated.(October 2017)
The area has been connected with instances of gun crime. Members of the London Fields gang which operates in and around the area were convicted on 12 April 2011 for the shooting of 16-year-old Agnes Sina-Inakoju at a chicken shop in Hoxton in April 2010. In May 2010 an innocent 27-year-old man was shot by mistake in London Fields by feuding gang members.
The park and surrounding area has, since 2014, formed part of a new London Fields electoral ward.
There is also a primary school named after the area, London Fields Primary School, opposite one of the south entrances to London Fields park. There is also a second primary school, Gayhurst Primary School, located by London Fields Lido opposite one of the western entrances to the park.
The area includes several housing estates. One of the largest, the Holly Street Estate, is undergoing regeneration, and the new development by United House won Apartment Building of the Year at the Daily Mail British Homes Awards in 2009. During the 1950's much of the original Georgian and Victorian housing stock in the area had been intended for demolition as part of a plan to remove what was considered slum housing. Due to a successful legal challenge made by some of the local residents most of the planned demolitions were prevented and it is this housing stock that principally makes up what is now London Field Conservation Area.
- "London Fields Management Plan 2010–2015 updated January 2013" (PDF). /www.hackney.gov.uk/. Hackney Council. 2013. p. 4. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Hackney Today 188 21 July 2008
- Copy of 1802 scorecard (London Fields Cricket Club) accessed 19 September 2009
- "Agnes's brother 'could forgive' Hoxton takeaway murderers". BBC News. 12 April 2011.
- "Shots 'fired from outside' Hackney's London Fields park". BBC News. 25 May 2010.
- A Profile of Queensbridge Ward Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Hackney Council. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- "British Homes Awards 2009". Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- "Queensbridge Quarter". Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- Hackney Council's London Fields information
- North East London Cricket League
- London Fields Cricket Club
- London Fields Farmers' Market
- Broadway Market
- GLL's London Fields Lido information
- London Fields User Group
- History links
- Hackney: Mare Street and London Fields (British History online)
- Hackney: Hackney Village (British History online)