Originally constructed on a WW2 bomb damaged housing site, Bramber Green in King’s Cross was created in the early 1960s to accompany an orange coloured block of flats after which it was named, Bramber House.

Before the war, the streets were lined with well to do Georgian terraces and mews running behind, with houses facing into what is today the park, but was at the time, streets and housing.

OS Map 1914

One of the more interesting buildings was on a side alley, Lucas Place that today is underneath that orange block of flats, and shows a very ornate house – described by the Illustrated London News in December 1905 as “The most curious house in London”. The newspaper doesn’t elaborate, but says that “Americans know the place well”.

On the corner of Cromer Street and Judd Street was a small block of shops, all destroyed by the bombing. To the north side is Holy Cross Church, which was built in 1888, and is unique in London in being dedicated to the memory of one person. In this case, Commodore James Goodenough, who was assassinated in 1874 n the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. The Goodenough family negotiated for a new church to be dedicated in his memory and to The Holy Cross.

Some housing survived the bombs to the south end of where the park is today, but considering how widespread the damage was around them, it’s likely that they were badly damaged, and the whole area was cleared to create the current park in the 1960s.

In the 1990s, the park was refurbished, and also renamed as Judd Street Open Space, but it seems that the locals were unconvinced by the change and resolutely kept referring to it as Bramber Green.

It was refurbished again in 2019, and Camden council decided to accede to local opinion, and the pocket park was renamed back to Bramber Green. Apart from the playground and outdoor gym, the most noticeable element of this park are the climbing sculptures in the corner.

Otherwise, it’s a fairly plain space, with plenty of trees and open grass lawns, and a slightly winding path to get through the park, which seems to be a popular route on my visit.

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One comment
  1. Steve Rees says:

    Cromer Street contains two pubs: The Lucas Arms at the east end, at the junction with Grays Inn Road, and The Boot at the west end, near the junction with Judd Street. Kenneth Williams filmed a sequence in ‘The Boot’ for the 1980s TV programme, ‘Comic Roots’, since it was there that his parents and their friends met. When he was a child, he lived at No. 14 Cromer House. He chats with locals and sings songs with them around the piano. It’s still a lively locals pub and well worth a pop in for a pint.

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