|Bishops Park Beach Opens this Month|
"Margate Sands" restored before Jubilee celebrations
London's only urban beach will officially be opened in Bishops Park on Monday, May 28 - in time for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations taking place in the park at the Royal Flotilla sails past Fulham.
The long awaited beach is part of the £7m restoration of Bishops Park and the adjoining Fulham Palace.
Opened in 1893, Bishops Park was formed from the 'bishops meadows' along the river side, and the beach was opened in 1903.
In the days when locals were unable to travel far on holiday, families came from across London to enjoy the beach area - known as Margate Sands as the sand was brought from Margate and other beaches in Kent.
However it fell into disrepair during the Second World War and was closed in 1949, when it was considered a safety hazard.
Two years ago, plans to renovate the grounds of Fulham Palace and Bishops Park and restore the beach became a reality when the Heritage Lottery Fund announced it awarded £3.65 million to the ambitious scheme. The scheme has also included the creation of new play areas and and and education centre and the partial excavation of the palace's moat - thought to be the longest mediaeval moat in England.
May 1, 2012