Stockley Park

Stockley Park, Hillingdon

A business park with surrounding leisure facilities, situated north of the Grand Union Canal and one-and-a-half miles east of West Drayton

Hidden London: Stockley Park bus shelter

This used to be an area of dis­used sand, clay and grav­el pits, inter­spersed with pig­geries and nurs­eries. The 350-acre site was trans­formed in the late 1980s into a com­mer­cial sci­ence park, now regard­ed as the fore­most devel­op­ment on the ‘West Lon­don Cor­ri­dor’.

The park takes its name from Broad and Com­pa­ny’s Stock­ley brick works, which were estab­lished south of the Grand Union canal in the late 19th cen­tu­ry. Stock­ley Farm, also south of the canal, was for­mer­ly called Starveall Farm – prob­a­bly a humor­ous ref­er­ence to the poor qual­i­ty of the local soil. The ‘Stock­ley’ name is said to be a port­man­teau word, derived from ‘Cow­ley stock [bricks]’.

“Smoth­ered in top­soil … and land­scaped to with­in an inch of its life,” as Dia­mond Geezer has put it, Stock­ley Park pro­vid­ed one of London’s largest pub­lic parks and open spaces to be cre­at­ed in the 20th cen­tu­ry and is tout­ed as an exam­ple of what can be achieved by public/​private part­ner­ships at no cost to the local com­mu­ni­ty.

Archi­tec­tur­al crit­ics were divid­ed over Stock­ley Park’s aes­thet­ics, and some indus­try com­men­ta­tors have called it ‘grim’ and ‘drea­ry’ – hard­ly what its cre­ators intend­ed. The site changed hands sev­er­al times after the project began. Nev­er­the­less, the ear­ly occu­piers’ list read like a who’s who of high-tech – although some have since pulled out.

The busi­ness area is set in a land­scaped coun­try park, with an 18-hole pub­lic golf course. Plans for a rail link and a sta­tion, Heathrow North, to be based just out­side Stock­ley Park have not come to fruition but the park’s ten­ants have had some suc­cess in reduc­ing vehi­cle usage through cycle-to-work and car shar­ing schemes.

Fol­low­ing a spate of late-night car cruis­ing in 2002 secu­ri­ty bar­ri­ers were erect­ed to pre­vent use of the park as a through route, so the tree-lined boule­vards are almost emp­ty of traf­fic – except for under-used bus­es and kids rac­ing their bikes. And even at lunchtimes only a hand­ful of work­ers take a stroll or make use of the green spaces.

To the north-west of the busi­ness zone and its park­land, Park Acad­e­my West Lon­don opened in 2017, replac­ing the con­sis­tent­ly fail­ing Stock­ley Acad­e­my.

Locat­ed off Ben­nets­field Road, the Are­na ser­vice and leisure hub incor­po­rates an 80-bed­room hotel, opened in late 2018 in place of the White House, a Lloyd’s No.1 bar that was named after a for­mer beer­house that stood some dis­tance away from here.

Stockley Park has been gaining a little fame recently (and potentially notoriety) as the home of the Premier League Match Centre, at IMG Studios, where English football’s video assistant refereeing technology and team are based.

Postcode area: West Drayton, UB11
Website: Stockley Park

 

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