The Rookery Streatham

London, England

The Rookery Streatham: a secret garden in south London.

The Rookery Streatham 3
- Maureen Barlin

Discover The Rookery Streatham

Cited as 'Park of the Year' by London In Bloom, The Rookery in Streatham is one of Lambeth's twelve Green Flag Award-winning parks. In a private corner near Streatham Common, this landscaped area is more than just a secret garden; it's a Grade II Listed Historic Garden with ponds, herbaceous and wildflower plant beds, a popular café, and a rock garden running with streams. Its inclusion on English Heritage’s Register of Historic Parks and Gardens highlights its significance.

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- David Fisher

But features like the Old English Garden and the White Garden have attracted more than just tourists over the years. The Rookery in Streatham has also become filled with wildlife; wooded edges, hedgerows, and orchards have all come to call the gardens home.

The Rookery Streatham 1
- Maureen Barlin

In recognition of this ecological importance, a portion of The Rookery was designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 2013. It is also part of the Streatham Conservation Area, managed by the Streatham Common Cooperative (SCCoop) in collaboration with Friends of Streatham Common, who ensure the gardens and their wildlife are protected for future generations.

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- Matt Brown

History of The Rookery in Streatham

In 1786, The Rookery Streatham formed the private grounds of the Streatham Spa, built to cater to visitors drawn by the allure of the medicinal properties of the local mineral spring. By 1911, the estate was facing redevelopment proposals. However, the local community rallied together to rescue The Rookery. While the house may have met its demise in 1912, the gardens were saved, falling under the management of the London County Council. In 1913, they were replanted as an Old English Garden and opened to the public.

The Rookery Streatham 4
- David Fisher

Exploring The Rookery Streatham

Today, visitors can enjoy the woodland walks near Norwood Grove, quaint pergolas, ancient cedar trees, the White Garden—a favourite of Queen Mary, who loved the white blooms—and stepping stones up to grass terraces. Beyond its botany, there are historical elements too such as remnants of the 18th-century Well House, which contained the mineral springs that once enticed visitors seeking health and rejuvenation.

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- diamond geezer

The Rookery Café

The Rookery Streatham also has a café with cosy indoor seating as well as spacious outdoor seating and parasols. It's open come rain or shine and no reservations are required. Since they are operating within the grounds of The Rookery, a conservation area, the café takes pride in their eco-conscious approach, using compostable and biodegradable packaging for takeaway orders. There are also plenty of bins provided so there’s no excuse for littering!

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- diamond geezer

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The Rookery Streatham
- Sue Kellerman


What you need to know

The Rookery Streatham
201, Covington Way, Lambeth SW16 3BY
51.420361, -0.117600
Tips before you visit