Lesnes Abbey Woods is an area of ancient woodland in southeast London. It is named after the ruined Lesnes Abbey in the London Borough of Bexley and gives its name to the Abbey Wood district. The ruins of Lesnes Abbey are often described as a ‘hidden treasure in the heart of suburban London’ and are steeped in history, The woods have several features dating back to the Bronze Age and an excellent display of wild bluebells and daffodils in the Spring. The Lesnes Abbey Wood is full of a diverse range of wildlife habitats, plants and flowers, with self-guided trails to help you find your way through the area.
Today, thanks to a Heritage Lottery Grant, the site is becoming a valued site for locals and visitors from wider afield. The Lesnes Abbey Woods Enhancement Project is a £3.5million project to regenerate a historic landscape, set around the now ruins of Lesnes Abbey. The scheme is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for London Borough of Bexley.
The Lesnes Abbey Woods Enhancement Project provided sustainable solutions to landscaping play and exercise areas, a bike track, interactive spaces such as the dipping ponds and areas of archaeological interest including the Chalk Pits and Monks Garden. The whole project is connected by educational and inspiring interpretation and wayfinding sympathetic to this historical landscape. Lesnes Abbey has a new lodge building, hosting a variety of activities throughout the week and over the summer. There is also a refreshment kiosk, new interpretation panels, which help the public understand the intricacies of the site.
Working closely with the local council team, and the international architects Meiloci responsible for creating remarkable architectural aspects added to the park building and reflecting upon its rich history. The identity for the park needed to reflect the rich historical elements of the park, while work well to stay relevant to the audience and fit with the landscape, the park has been transformed for the community and continues to be a changing landscape that celebrates its past, and provides a useful space for the local community.