Historical Features

A number of heritage features can still be found in the park.

Parish Boundary- a shallow earth mound running east-west, marking the boundary between the parishes of Boxley and Aylesford at the northern end of the park.

Field Boundaries – examples of mound-and-ditch and lynchet can be found in the woodland

Old Track Way - a small part of an old roadway still exists as a footpath and part of the Horse Ride

Clay Quarry Spoil Heaps- clay was extracted  and bricks and tiles were manufactured in an area west of the park for 150 years. In the 20th Century, one of the bricks made was a large air brick which is now rare. One of these can be seen in the visitor centre. The spoil from the quarry was dumped in two places in the park. These large mounds have now been colonised by semi-natural woodland.

Ragstone Animal Enclosure and Shelter C19th -now known as the ‘Llama House’ because it was used to house a small herd of llamas after the closure of the zoo.

Sheepwash – a circular structure about 3m across and 1.5 m deep. This would have been used to clean the fleece before shearing. This feature was restored in 2011 with reclaimed, locally made bricks known as ‘gaunts’

Preserved Field Drainage System - a long narrow pool in the upper woodland with ditches running out of either end forms a rectangular loop with a single main ditch running down to Forstal Road.

Remnants of the old orchards - veteran fruit trees are still standing amongst the parkland trees in the lower part of the park.

Ash plantation – a 1843 map shows an ash plantation over the southern half of the present woodland. The trees would have been coppiced regularly to provide fuel and poles for woodworking and building. Many large ash-tree coppice stools remain from when the trees were last coppiced approximately 60 years ago.

Oak-with-Hazel Plantation – the age of the plantation is estimated at about 150 years old. The oaks would have been planted for timber to be harvested. The hazel would have been coppiced regularly to make hurdles.

The site of a Rediffusion radio station. In the 1940s and 1950s a 20 x 12 ft wooden hut with wooden poles holding cables was manned 24hrs a day.

The old elephant house is to become a DIY workshop.
The old elephant house is a DIY workshop.

The Elephant House is the only complete structure that remains from the zoo. All the other zoo buildings, cages and paddocks were removed when the zoo closed in 1959. Inside the building, the space is divided into two by a row of metal bars that separated the elephants from the zoo visitors. Utilities were extended to the building during the building of the visitor centre and it now houses the Men in Sheds project.

Sir Garrard’s Pet Cemetery - hidden in vegetation is Sir Garrard and Lady Edna’s pet cemetery. Seventeen small headstones stand in three rows with the earliest dated 1933.