Victorian Society listing success for lodge and gateway in park associated with David Bowie

The lodge and gateway to Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Beckenham, have been granted Grade II listed status following a Victorian Society listing application. The gate lodge and gateway join the park’s listed ‘David Bowie’ Bandstand to form a fine late Victorian ensemble.

The park was built after a local campaign to secure public open space in Beckenham. This followed the Public Health Act (1875) and was part of the wider public park movement late in the 19th century. Historic England acknowledge the historic, architectural and group value of the gate lodge and gateway in the listing. Local group, The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation group supported the listing stressing that the lodge and gateway are distinctive local landmarks.

In their report Historic England describe the lodge as ‘a strong architectural composition alongside the gateway at the entrance to the park, including wooden verandas, a circular bay window for the supervision of the park covered by an elegant ogee dome, and a pyramidal roof rising to a tall central chimney stack’.

The listing goes on to note that ‘the recreation ground has a close association with the musician David Bowie (1947-2016). He lived in Beckenham from the age of eight and co-founded the Beckenham Arts Lab in his 20s. Bowie and the Arts Lab organised the Growth Summer Festival, a free one-day festival held on the bandstand at Croydon Road Recreation Ground on 16 August 1969. It has been described as ‘the first of its kind in the UK’, the intention being to set up a similar kind of free agenda for artists and musicians as seen at Woodstock’.

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