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London Fields

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London Fields

In 1275 The area that is now London Fields was recorded as common pastoral land adjoining Cambridge Heath. In 1540 the name London Field is found recorded as a separate item consisting of around 100 acres in changing ownership of land. London Field was one of the many “commonable lands” of Hackney where the commoners of the parish could graze their livestock on the fields. This arrangement was known as Lammas Rights and was protected by law.

Although it is unclear how the name London Field came into being, the most likely explanation is the field’s position, on what had been for centuries the main footpath from the village of Hackney and beyond the river Lea, from Essex, to the City of London. They knew when they crossed this field that they were only 2 miles from the City gate.

Homerton area guide

At the beginning of the 19th Century the area around London Field was still largely rural. It was only by the early 1860’s that Richmond Road lined with houses on both sides completed its connection to Mare Street at the south end of Hackney village, sealing off the north end of London Fields. Soon afterwards other areas immediately adjacent to London Fields were developed into large and smaller terraces and the park itself was saved from disappearing altogether due to conservationists at the time petitioning with such intent that it got to parliament and a law was passed protecting it and other key green spaces across the Hackney area.

London Fields station was opened in 1872, at the same time as Bethnal Green, Cambridge Heath and Hackney Downs stations. It had a large impact on the area; most of the owners of the few remaining large houses moved out, while the area east of the railway was further developed, with workshops moving into the railway arches some of which remain to this day.

Present

London Fields is a park and district in the borough of Hackney. London Fields park is 31.3 acres in extent, about one-third of its original size. The area forms part of the Queensbridge ward.

This village like area enjoys an air of tranquillity sandwiched between the busy roads of Kingsland Road in Dalston and Mare St in Hackney Central to the west and east respectively.

The park itself boasts a range of activities to include a cricket pitch, a recently renovated and reopened 50m heated lido pool with café, tennis courts, 2 children’s play areas, cycle path, a pub and a farmers market.

Homerton area guide

To the east of the park is a very popular street by the name of Broadway Market. This street houses several independent pubs, bars and cafés open throughout the week. On Saturdays the street comes alive with a street market (home to traders since the 1890s) offering a variety of wares from fresh produce to authentic street food, original boutique clothing and arts and crafts.

The combination of the wonderful period houses all around the park, Broadway Market and the park itself all add to the charm of the area as a place to relax and wind down for both families and young professionals working in the city or creative industries nearby.

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