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Playground feature slides on to heritage list

Estate’s ‘ambitious’ structure gets Grade II-listed protection alongside gardens

21 August, 2020 — By Tom Foot

Experts said the slide on the Brunel estate represents a ‘move towards encouraging more adventurous play’

A PLAYGROUND slide joins housing estate parks and gardens in being given special heritage protection today (Friday).

The slide in the Brunel estate has been unveiled as Grade II-listed by experts at Historic England and the Gardens Trust.

The estate in Westbourne Green was designed by architect Michael Brown and built in the 1970s with a play area including a “monumental slide structure”.

Historic England described the slide as “a rare surviving example of a play structure from this period, representing the 20th-century move towards encouraging more adventurous play”.

They added: “Very few items of play equipment have been listed and this is a particularly ambitious and inventive creation.”

Also listed today are the Water Gardens in Burword Place, off Edgware Road, Paddington, and the gardens in Churchill Gardens estate, Pimlico.

The Water Gardens in Burword Place, off Edgware Road

The Water Gardens were originally designed in 1961 to conceal a basement car park. Today they’re “a hidden oasis of tranquillity, created by limited views out of the site and fountains that block traffic noise from Edgware Road”, according to Historic England.

Built between 1947 and 1962, Churchill Gardens was the first large-scale housing development in Britain created after the Second World War.

Historic England said the estate gardens’ design was “borrowed” from European models “but the landscape is evocative of traditional London squares”.

Emily Gee, regional director for Historic England in London and the South East, said: “Each of the landscapes given protection today is special. Many demonstrate incredible thought and care for the people who would go on to use them, and others mark significant turning points in the history of English gardening.

“These past few months have taught us that our green open spaces improve the quality of the environment around us, are good for our wellbeing, and give us breathing space.

“This project shines a light on some amazing landscapes that exist all over the country, celebrating how they enhance our lives, and helping to protect them for generations to come.”

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