For their daily exercise, people are flocking to their local parks but did you ever stop to think about the history of the park. My local park is Kelsey Park and as it turns out it has a rich history.

Originally, Kelsey Park was not a park at all it was just 2 meadows, these meadows were bought by a fishmonger called William Kelsiulle. He built a house in the 2 meadows in about 1408. However, in 1472 it was bought by William Brograve and his family proceeded to live there for 200 hundred years. In 1623 the first recorded map of Kelsey Estate was made.

In 1690, another man named Peter Burrell purchased the Estate and extended it to Elmers End. In addition to the lower lake mansion, there was also an upper lake mansion built for Elizabeth Amelia. In 1820 the land from Kelsey estate was auctioned off, it was 3,202 acres in total. It was then owned by the Hoare family, who made several changes. They constructed 2 lodges, a cottage hospital, a fire station and pump. They also made improvements to the mansion, lake and the waterfall. They did not stop there in total the Hoarde family bought 142 more acres to increase their land. In 1894, Charles Hoare left Kelsey and let out the land as convent and then later as a boarding school. 

Charles Hoare then passed away and the estate was purchased to create a housing estate. In 1914 the mansion was turned into an army hospital and an Army Service Corp base. It was then demolished in 1921 and more houses were built on Manor Way. This takes us up to the present, where Kelsey Estate is now Kelsey Park, a large park with 2 lakes, lots of long winding paths, a playground, a cafe, with many bridges and lawns.

By Emilia Beveridge