Lesnes Abbey is a unique urban oasis in the North West Corner of the London Borough of Bexley, overlooking the river Thames and the iconic ‘new town’ of Thamesmead.
The Lesnes Site has the ruins of a 12th century abbey, extensive ancient woodlands and an area for recreation, including a playground, a youth area including a parkour zone, and a multiuse sports area. The Park is 88 hectares in size, with 69 hectares of woods.
The Abbey was founded by Richard De Luci in 1178. It is rumored that it was founded as penance for the murder of Thomas Becket, in which De Luci played a leading role. The Abbey was dissolved in 1525 by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey as part of the desolation of the Monasteries.
In December 2011 the London Borough of Bexley was awarded a Parks for People grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The resulting programme of enhancements has improved accessibility, information and signage, educational and volunteering opportunities at the park.
NWKCP works closely with the Lesnes Abbey team to deliver their education programme, as well as holiday events, walks and talks and occasional practical support such as installing steps.