1539 William Petre of Ingatestone granted the land by Henry VIIIth
Over time, the land was split into smaller tenant farms
1831 Hill House Farm was bought by the Spitty Family – a wealthy family originally from Wales
1858 Thomas Jenner Spitty inherits the land from his father
He becomes a major in the Essex Militia, High Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant of Essex, as well as a Justice of the Peace and a great local benefactor.
Before 1874, he pays out-of-work agricultural workers 1 shilling a day, plus a meal, to dig out the lake
After Major Spitty’s death in 1898, the farmhouse and lands have several owners; some of the land is sold for housing
Around 1930, a group of local enthusiasts build an outdoor swimming pool
In 1935 Billericay Urban District Council buys bulk of land for Lake Meadows
1936 the park is officially opened
After WW2, improvements were gradually made to the park, a bowling green and putting green were added, as were the Children’s Corner and a paddling pool, hockey and football pitches, a refreshment pavilion and boathouse
1949 the boats are bought and children’s boating area made
1966 Lake drained for repairs and new sluice installed
2013 Friends of Lake Meadows formed.
If you or
your family have any old photographs or stories of the park, we should love to
add them to our History Archive. Please contact us – we can scan and return
phots to you.