Coronation Gardens

cottons park

Coronation Gardens is a 0.8 acre open space in Romford Town centre next to the Town Hall building.

Originally meant to be the site of a church, it now serves as a public garden commemorating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Romford War Memorial situated in the gardens was re-erected in 1970. 

The Coronation Gardens were laid out on land originally purchased as the site for the new Romford parish church in 1844.

In 1849, the church was rebuilt on an alternative site in the market place and only the parish burial ground with a chapel was built here. The cemetary was full by 1871.

In 953, the council and Church authorities re-landscaped the area as public gardens commemorating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

To the rear of the garden are 19th century gravestones that were cleared when the garden was laid out.

Main Road, Romford RM1 3BH

There is pay and display parking available at the town hall.

You can reach the park via bus routes 174, 347, 498 and 499​.​​

The park is generally open from 8am to 8pm, but closing times will vary seasonably - generally half an hour after dusk. Exceptions may occur. Contact 01708 434743 for more specific daily details.

The land was purchased in 1844 as the site for the new and larger Romford parish church of St Edward the Confessor and the parochial cemetery. However, in 1849, St Edward’s Church was rebuilt on an alternative site in the marketplace and only the burial ground for the church together with a chapel were built here.

By 1871, the parochial burial ground was full and Romford Burial Board opened its new Romford Cemetery in Crow Lane. In 1953, at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the Council and Church authorities agreed to re-landscape the area as public gardens and the chapel was demolished.

The small square plot was levelled, but as many of the existing trees as possible were retained. The garden was laid out with bisecting quadrant and circular walks, with a great variety of tree species including yew, cedar, flowering cherry and magnolia, and perimeter beds planted with shrubs.

Trees and shrubs, including scented plants for the enjoyment by the blind, were planted by local organisations in commemoration of the Coronation. The base of the chapel was initially planted as a raised rose bed but in 1970 the Romford War Memorial was re-erected here when the building of the new ring road necessitated its removal from Laurie Square where it had been erected in 1921.

In the gardens stands a concrete sundial as a memorial to Alfred Daniel Wood who died in 1953 and lived next to the site for 44 years. Coronation Gardens are enclosed by a 19th century York stone wall and iron railings, and entered through a gate on Main Road.

To the rear of the gardens and behind a Cypress hedge are the 19th century gravestones that were cleared from the site and now stand in two rows or are broken up and lying on the ground.

Among the memorials is that of the Black family who lived at Gidea Hall from 1802, Alexander Black (d.1835) having purchased the estate from Richard Benyon.

He is commemorated on the memorial with his wife Alice and daughters Adelaide and Anne, the latter the wife of William Neave, son of Sir Thomas Neave of Dagnam Park.

There are no toilet facilities on site.

 

 

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