Kennington Park

sights / Parks & gardens

Kennington Park information

London , United Kingdom
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Tube: Oval
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This unprepossessing space of green has a great rabble-rousing tradition. Originally a common, where all were permitted entry, it served as a speakers’ corner for South London. During the 18th century, Jacobite rebels trying to restore the Stuart monarchy were hanged, drawn and quartered here, and in the 18th and 19th centuries preachers used to deliver hellfire-and-brimstone speeches to large audiences; John Wesley, founder of Methodism and an antislavery advocate, is said to have attracted some 30,000 followers. After the great Chartist rally on 10 April 1848, where millions of working-class people turned out to demand the same voting rights as the middle classes, the Royal Family promptly fenced off the common as a park.