Lowndes Park History

Lowndes Park

The first record of the land where the park is located is its ownership by the Sifrewasts in the 12th Century. However, one feature still standing in the park today is far older. At the top of the park is a scheduled ancient monument known locally as the Rolling Pin. It is believed that this is a Bronze Age bowl barrow, and an important indication of prehistoric settlement in the Chess Valley.

The Whichcotes acquired the land in the 17th Century and created the avenue (now known as the Rue de Houilles in honour of Houilles in France, with which Chesham is twinned) by planting a double row of elm trees. A mansion house, Bury Hill House, once stood in the area where the Guides Hall is now located.

William Lowndes bought the land in 1802, demolished Bury Hill House and added the land to the grounds of The Bury. The park was then let out for grazing. In 1845 the elm avenue was felled and replaced with a single row of elms. The avenue was gravelled in the 1890s.

During World War One, the park was used for training soldiers in bridge construction across Skottowes Pond.

In the 1920s, the lower park was let by the Lowndes family to Chesham Urban District Council as a public recreation ground. The pond was given concrete edges and the island created.

The avenue elms were felled in 1950 as they were thought to have Dutch Elm Disease. Most of the trees, however, were found to have been healthy. In 1953, the Lowndes family donated the park to the Urban District Council.

Grazing of cattle only ended in the park in 1959. During the 1970s, the pond and island were refurbished and a water staircase created. The park was dedicated a Public Open Space in 1972 and named Lowndes Park.

From the 1980s to the present day, the facilities currently found in the park were added, including the skateboard park, toilets and play equipment.

To help you get the most out of the park, Chesham Town Council have produced a leaflet highlighting some of the interesting features of the park and its history. You can download the leaflet here (PDF, 370 KB) or pick up a paper copy at the Town Hall.

News & Events

Jun 10, 2018
Category: News
Posted by: andrew

The next Friends of Lowndes Park working party will be on Sunday 12 August. We meet at 10am in the Archena Garden which is next to the Temperance Hall in Church Street. Do come and join us.

Jun 9, 2018
Category: News
Posted by: andrew

Why not come and listen to some great music in the Park this summer. On a Sunday afternoon during July and August you can experience a variety of music and all for free. We would recommend you bring a picnic and a deckchair. For further details click on the title.

Apr 17, 2014
Category: News
Posted by: andrew

The Friends have set up their own Facebook page. Please click here or go to www.facebook.com/groups/friendsoflowndespark You will need to sign in.

Apr 12, 2014
Category: News
Posted by: andrew
The Friends of Lowndes Park are quite often approached about who to contact to hire the Guide Hut. We suggest you call Kate Webber  on 01494 773359

Previous page: Lowndes Park Environment
Next page: Timeline

website: Robert Craig