Lee Valley Regional Park

Park Development Framework

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Where are we now?

The Regional Park is a significant heritage resource with sites of national importance for industrial, social and cultural history. Although it includes records of settlement from pre-historic and medieval times its heritage is predominantly linked to the area’s industrial past. This includes the Park’s waterways (Lee Navigation and the River Lea), pumping stations and water locks and mills.

A number of ‘heritage attractions’ have been developed within the Park, providing good access, interpretation, events and visitor facilities. Other sites within the Park have heritage value but due to limited access, interpretation, and the absence of visitor facilities, these are largely to be enjoyed from a distance. There are also self-guided walks and cycle routes that follow key heritage attractions throughout the Park, and along the waterways.

What do we want to achieve?

  • To ensure future development and management of the Park respects and celebrates the rich history of the Lee Valley.
  • To protect and/or reuse the Park’s historic buildings, infrastructure and landscapes.
  • To interpret creatively the extensive social and cultural history of the area, including the changing land use and role of the valley.

How will we deliver?

For the whole Park

We will

  • Undertake an Historic Environmental Characterisation study as part of a Landscape Assessment, and develop a Strategic Landscape Vision for the Park.

On our estate

We will

  • Maintain, and where possible enhance, heritage at existing key sites: -
    • Myddelton House
      Implement the Heritage Conservation Management Plan in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund. This will include restoration of the kitchen garden and improvement of the visitor infrastructure.
    • Rye House Gatehouse
      Prepare and implement an Heritage Conservation Management plan for the site.
    • Waltham Abbey Gardens
      Prepare and implement an Heritage Conservation Management plan for the site.
    • WaterWorks
      Continue to develop an interpretation of the historic water supply infrastructure.
    • Gunpowder Park
      Prepare and implement an interpretation of the former munitions land use.
    • East India Dock Basin
      Continue to develop an interpretation of the historic trading role of the basin.
  • Work with partners to identify other areas of heritage interest (both remnant built features and social and cultural heritage) within our estate. To protect and interpret those areas wherever possible.

Working with others

We will

  • Ensure that the Park’s heritage sites form a complementary and coordinated part of the Park wide offer. These include:
    • Royal Gunpowder Mills
      Support the Royal Gunpowder Mills Trust to develop a visitor attraction that integrates with the wider Park offer.
    • Walthamstow Reservoirs
      Support Thames Water aspirations to develop a visitor attraction at the Reservoirs. This will include highlighting the historic significance of the water supply networks within the Lee Valley
    • Three Mills
      Support the 3 Mills Trust’s ongoing efforts to develop and restore the Mill structures.
    • Waterways
      Work with British Waterways and other partners to protect and interpret the rich history of water transportation in the Lee Valley.
  • Facilitate and coordinate joint programmes for the marketing and promotion of heritage features within the Park.


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