Bury Lodge Gardens were laid out by Edmonton District Council between December 1935 and March 1937 on the site of Bury Lodge, a 17th century house which was demolished in 1936.

Bury Lodge and the adjacent Salisbury House stood on Bury Street, which was once a major roads running through open fields.  On the North side of Bury Street was Bury Farm, the demesne farm of Edmonton manor.  Across the road stood Bury Hall, built in the early 17th century.  Bury House, in place by 1754, stood to the West of Bury Hall, while further west was Bury Lodge, on the South side of the street.

By 1920 the area around Bury Street was almost entirely built up.  Bury Hall was demolished in 1920 and Bury Farm about the same time.  There was further extensive building along Bury Street West in the 1930s, and Bury House was pulled down in about 1933 to make way for the Great Cambridge Road (A10), which now runs through the land once occupied by Bury Farm and Hall.

 

The Soundy Family 

The last family to live at Bury Lodge were the Soundys.  Henry Soundy was a furniture manufacturer and second-hand furniture dealer, who bought Bury Lodge in 1881.  He lived at the lodge with his mother and siblings, and later with his wife and children.  The family lived at Bury Lodge until 1933, when Henry's wife Lily sold the property to the Council.  The district valuer's report described the house at this time as a 17th century weather boarded building with 6 inter-connecting bedrooms.  The garden and land around it amounted to 4 acres, 2 roods, and 20 perches.

 

The gardens are created 

In 1933 Edmonton Urban District Council purchased Bury Lodge and its grounds for £7,350 to create a public recreation ground.  The Council had originally planned to turn the Lodge into a public tea room and gardeners' accommodation, but it was deemed too expensive and in 1936 the house was demolished.  Today only the gate to the front garden remains, together with parts of the front garden wall.

In October 1936 with the layout almost complete, £300 was spent on the purchase of rose trees and shrubs.  In March 1937 two park-keepers were appointed. 

Bury Lodge Gardens open

The gardens were officially opened on Saturday 10th April 1937.  According to a report in The Weekly Herald "As soon as Cllr. Hollywood unlocked the main gates, the army of eager youngsters - many of whom had been waiting some time...  swarmed through...  their happy laughter could be heard as they sampled the delights of the slides, swings and merry-go-round, sailed excited races on the model yacht pond, and played football on the open grass plots"

The 20th century 

The garden today retain much of the 1937 layout, with some of the original features still intact.  The 1.5 acre rose garden remains, as does the grass plot for games, the perimeter walks and the central layout of the sunken garden with ornamental lily pond and 4 pergola walks.  The open-air draughts board has been restored in recent years, and was originally part of the sheltered retreat for the elderly.

In the playground there was originally a 90 foot oval pool for paddling and sailing model yachts.  This has now been filled in, but the original pool remains intact beneath the present play area.

Today one of the original 1930's shelters remains, although the original roof tiles have been lost and the sides have been opened.  The shelter in the playground, removed in 2011, originally played host to Punch and Judy shows during summer holidays. 

There were 10 gardeners when the park first opened.  The park was used for training gardeners and the trees/plants were planted in Bury Lodge to see how well they would grow before being used in other parks.

This amazing archive film footage shows some fabulous scenes in the park and Salisbury house - Bury Lodge 1965

The gardens restored

Like many parks Bury Lodge had, by the turn of the century, became run-down.  The passage of time and lack of investment had taken their toll, and the park was blighted by vandalism and antisocial behaviour.

 

A new group, the Friends of Bury Lodge Park, was formed by local residents in 2009 to breathe fresh life into this much loved space.  A working party began to meet every week, clearing overgrown areas, cleaning out the pond and repairing the brickwork and structures.  The Rotary Club of Edmonton donated the first set of garden tools.  The group worked with the Council to redesign the toilet block and to refurbish the children's play area.

In 2011 the Friends' efforts were rewarded when they won the Mayor of London's Gold Award for Safer Parks, an achievement which was repeated with a second gold award in 2012.

The Friends of Bury Lodge continue to meet weekly to help with repairs and maintenance in the park.  They also actively raise funds for further improvements to the park to ensure that remains an enjoyable place for everyone to visit.