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  Themes Homepage > Herschel Park (formerly Upton Park)
Green Fields of Slough
Herschel Park (formerly Upton Park)

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Upton Park has the unusual honour of referring to the park land itself, a building on its grounds, and also the road and houses running along one edge.

It has existed since at least 1843 when James Bedborough bought the land in that area and built twenty-nine terraced houses and large villas looking out over the park. It is perhaps the first housing development to be advertised for commuters, as houses were recommended for their proximity to Windsor and to the Railway. Upton Park, about 1850
Upton Park, about 1850

The buildings comprised three separate blocks known as Victoria Terrace, and East and West Villas. It is thought that Sir Joseph Paxton laid out the grounds, with Benjamin Baud working on the houses.

The pleasure ground, what has now become Herschel Park, contained curving paths, two small lakes, one with an island, a bridge and a wonderful variety of trees - in 1853 it was marketed as a "fashionable resort for the summer months".

Basement kitchen, 2 East Villas, about 1884
Basement kitchen, 2 East Villas, about 1884
The houses did attract the aristocracy, gentry and professional classes. Amongst the retired colonels, daughters of colonial governors, barristers and clergy, was George Smith, the founder of the Dictionary of National Biography. Upton Park is still one of the most desirable addresses in Slough.

Upton Park was also the residence of the Bentley family, including Richard Bentley, who later went on to publish the works of Charles Dickens. It was the Bentleys that built The Mere in 1887, which at the time was on ground that formed part of Upton Park, and to which they moved on its completion.

After this point the park went through several private owners. In 1949 it was sold to the Slough Corporation, who renamed it Herschel Park, and opened it to the public. Although the Corporation kept up the park, the buildings on the site fell into disrepair. In the 1970s, the park was made into a conservation area, due to the efforts of the Slough Civic Society and the Middle Thames Archaeological and Historical Society. Herschel Park, 1st October 2004
Herschel Park, 1st October 2004
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  Themes Homepage > Herschel Park (formerly Upton Park)
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