Search

Final touches to £4.2million Lesnes Abbey Wood project complete despite ‘serious challenges’

PUBLISHED: 16:32 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:16 11 September 2017

Lesnes Abbey Wood opening, Heritage Lottery Fund trustee Jon Sheaff, Bexley council leader Teresa O�Neill  and councillor Peter Craske

Lesnes Abbey Wood opening, Heritage Lottery Fund trustee Jon Sheaff, Bexley council leader Teresa O�Neill and councillor Peter Craske

Archant

£3.4million of the project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

The discovery of a medieval ‘burial ground’ along with a key contractor going into administration has not stopped work completing at Lesnes Abbey Wood.

The 88-hectare park, covered mostly in ancient woodland, has undergone a £4.2million transformation over the past three years, most notably with the introduction of Lesnes Lodge.

Having opened in November last year, the lodge played host to a celebration of the improvement project on Thursday, with councillors, volunteers and key partners all attending the event.

The lodge stands on top of the remains of a 1930’s municipal building which was demolished in 2015, but there are far more historic remains across the park, including the 12th century remains of Lesnes Abbey, after which the park is named.

Inspired by the site’s history, the project, which was partly funded by a £3.4million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, has also created an outdoor classroom next to the park’s fossil bed.

A 6.3 hectare share of the site, include the fossil bed, is a designated site of special scientific interest after fossils dating back 60million years were discovered.

The work has not been without his problems, in the spring of 2015, human and animal remains, including an entire horse’s skeleton were discovered along with centuries-old building materials, meant work had to be reorganiesd to safeguard the area’s heritage.

Then, in June last year, contractor Blakedown Landscapes Operations Ltd went into administration, slowing down work until a replacement could be found.

Despite the problems the final landscaping works finished earlier this month.

Peter Craske, cabinet member for community safety, environment and leisure, explained some of the other developments: “The new Monks Garden uses features that would have existed at the time the 12th century abbey was in use, including medicinal herbs and plants growing in the bright and colourful garden.

“Various art installations can be found throughout the park, including stunning wood carvings, ironwork, stone sculptures and a mosaic. There’s also a new parkour area, the first of its kind in the borough, along with new outdoor fitness areas. There’s even a place to grab a bite to eat at Abbey Good Coffee, which is part of the Lodge.

“These improvements were made possible thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a team of talented and committed Members, council officers, professional specialists and contractors who did great work together to help deliver this ambitious project. This is now a fabulous park with something for everyone and a place where residents can spend a grand day out.”

Latest Bexley news

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A high definition CCTV system is to be installed in Broadway Shopping Centre later this month.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A £6.1m cash injection into key community projects will help kick-start the building of 762 new homes across London and the South East, including Bexley.

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Bexleyheath pre-school owner has retired after 20 years of dedicated service.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The RSPCA has released CCTV footage showing a man kicking his grey Staffordshire bull terrier type dog outside a shop.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Next month will see the borough’s first ever residential street turn into a safe play area for a few hours, thanks to the council’s partnership with London Play.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A 17-year-old from Thamesmead has been named as St John Ambulance regional cadet of the year for London and the south.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Heathfield Court care home in Northumberland Heath helped four couples, who have notched up over 246 years of marriage between them, to celebrate in style on Valentine’s Day.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Bexley Council is inviting people to share their views on how to spend the Local Community Infrastructure Fund.

Most read news

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Bexley Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder