13 October 2017

At The Rookery

The Rookery is a cafe stop on the Crystal Palace to Streatham stretch of the Capital Ring. We didn't have a coffee there, but did descend to the lower terrace to look at the old garden. The house, and two of the mineral springs that made Streatham into a spa town in the 18th century, have gone, but thanks to the efforst of local residents the park has remained, and also the gardens.
Against the light, and gently waving in the breeze

What are these? some sort of lily?


Ferns populate the remaining mineral-springs, now a well

... a well under repair ...

"The Well House (or Streatham Wells as it is referred to on John Rocque's map of 1746) was built in the early C18 to house visitors to the spa which developed around the mineral springs discovered at Streatham in 1659. The adjacent house, The Rookery, was rebuilt and enlarged to accommodate the numerous visitors; it was demolished in 1912.

In 1911 the 3 acre (1.25ha) site was threatened with redevelopment and was purchased for £3,075, raised by public subscription. The Rookery was presented to London County Council in 1912; it was then added to Streatham Common and opened as a public park in July 1913.

In 1923 the London County Council published a description of The Rookery which included an Old English Garden, a wild garden, a white garden, and two 'majestic' cedars on the lawns." (source)

Elsewhere on the walk, vistas of the North Downs - 
We started at Crystal Palace overground station, which has a grandeur befitting arriving at a palace (which, though made of glass, unfortunately burnt down in the 1930s) -
 Near the station was an arts cafe, with this beautifully shibori-textured kimono for sale -

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