Hylands Park1 has historic gates to welcome visitors entering from Osborne Road. Considering their provenance, I’m surprised that there isn’t an Info Board. They were repurposed from the derelict Grey Towers mansion in Hornchurch. The mansion became derelict after the New Zealand Convalescent hospital closed in 1919.2 It was eventually sold for housing in 1931. The large estate disappeared but the splendid gates were moved to Hylands Park. The gates were rejuvenated in 2016, creating the finest entry point of any of Havering’s parks..
The park itself is tightly configured. Havering’s website (note 1) has a section on the history of the park. This is actually a very good and a surprising read, especially the explanation of the circular path. The children’s play area is excellent, well equipped and safe. There are tennis courts and a fitness area, which is open access. The footpath is very popular with dog walkers, who all seem to clean up after their animals. The park has a small car park, which can get quite competitive on certain occasions.
2 The New Zealand Convalescent Hospital, Hornchurch, 1916-9 – Politics in Havering and photo of New Zealand soldiers in their distinctive uniforms with white lapels The entrance to Grey Towers, Hornchur… | Items | National Library of New Zealand | National Library of New Zealand (natlib.govt.nz) Second photo taken 15th July 2021 by author in Osborne Road, Romford