King George V Playing Field
Where is it?
King George V Playing Field, formerly known as Poors Piece is located in Hanwell, with entrances on the Lower Boston Manor Road, St Mark’s Road and Bostonthorpe Road.
Bus: The 195 and E8 buses stop outside the park and travel up and down the Boston Manor Road on a frequent basis.
Tube/train: Boston Manor Station (Piccadilly line). Turn right out of the station and walk 1.5 miles straight up Boston Manor Road until you reach the park on the left. Alternatively Hanwell Rail station is just 0.6 miles from the park.
Parking: The main road and thoroughfare for the area is Boston Manor Road (Upper and Lower) with good access from the Uxbridge Road, A4 and the A40. The surrounding roads provide free parking without limitation. Bike/on foot: King George V Field is accessed via gates with step free access on Lower Boston Manor Road to the north, St Marks Road on the east and Bostonthorpe Road on the south.
The park has open access with no restrictions.
- Natural play area
- Grass area
About the park
Occupying an acre amongst the Victorian terraces of old Hanwell, King George V Playing field provides a blend of enjoyment and a feeling of repose. Its current arrangement provides a large nature inspired children’s area, a small grassed area for games and a shaded seating area. Its design represents modern park composition and assiduous community involvement.
The park, referred to as ‘Sand Park’ by local children, was officially titled to commemorate the death of King George V in 1951. It sits on former parish land of St Marys, which at the time provided allotments and grazing land for the animals of local people, earning the former name ‘Poors Piece’. Its alias may have changed over time but its intrinsic value to the local area has not. It remains a well-loved and used park.
Brief history of site
Prior to 1800 there are very few mentions of this particular plot that now forms King George V Playing Field but it is known that it would have formed part of the parcel of land given to the parish of St Marys in 1484 by William Hobbayne in his will. William Hobbayne intended his donation to be for vaccines, buildings of homes and the education of the poor. His name lives on through the various charities, societies and landmarks around Hanwell but unfortunately little is known about the man himself. This land was largely agricultural land that was worked by people from the local settlement. This settlement has existed in the area since medieval times and, according to a map dated 1680, was called Tickill. Saxon graves from the 6th century were found within 500 metres of the plot that now forms King George V Playing Field so it is possible that the park sits on what was once a Saxon settlement. Prior to that we have no historical context other than the geology of the site, which we know was formed as part of the London Basin.
In 1816 the parish land of Hanwell was enclosed and by then only c.1.25 acres had been set aside for the poor in compensation for loss of common rights. This was called Poor's Piece. Poor’s Piece exists on maps, with the same boundaries, as far back as 1850.
The park came about following the death of King George V in January 1936 when a committee was established under the chairmanship of the then Lord Mayor of London to determine how best to commemorate the memory of the late King. Mindful of the encouragement which he had given to the development of playing fields, in order that children and young people had the space to learn and develop their physical and social skills, during his life the King George’s Fields Foundation was established in November 1936.
King George's Field was opened as a recreation ground on 22 May 1951 by the Chairman of Ealing Parks Committee, the Borough Council having received £300 from the Foundation for the 1.25 acre site. Its gate piers on St Mark's Road have the heraldic stone plaques commemorating funding from King George's Fields Foundation. King George’s was originally a small garden with shrubbery beds behind wooden railings, paving and tarmac and a number of seats. Beyond this the park consists of lawn with a curved path leading to a playground, with trees and shrubs around the border.
The form we see it in today is thanks to extensive remodelling of the northern section that took place in late 2012. This followed on from replacing the playground area in early 2010. Prior to that, the park remained very much unchanged since it opened in 1951.
The park is a newly designed landscape but aspects have been designed to replicate natural features, including mostly native species of trees and grass mixes. Although of limited conservation value the green space acts as a haven for wildlife and a stopover between larger, more biodiverse sites like Elthorne.