Grays Town Park


Grays Park was given to the people of Thurrock in 1887 by the squire, James Theobald. The park was a unique feature to the working class population of Grays and was the first public leisure facility in this area.

The site was the redundant earth quarry for making bricks, one of the main products of the district. A light railway took the bricks down to Grays wharf for loading on to barges.

The park needed considerable landscaping to hide the quarry. Sloped embankments were created to the north behind the late Victorian houses, and to the east along Bridge Road.

Pathways led around the perimeter of the park. Some were tree-lined with saplings and ornamental flower beds, such as those near the main entrance from Bedford Road. A shelter was created to protect park visitors from rain and sun, and a small stage - possibly erected as a temporary structure - provided a platform for community events and entertainments.

From Edwardian times a bandstand was erected, which became a popular for entertainment during summer months. The bandstand was removed by the 1960s.

To the southern side against Clarence Road, a health clinic was built for maternity checks and children's health. An children's charity accommodation house was built on the Clarence Road entrance for 'family units' to be looked after by a pair of adoptive parents.

Today the park is an open space still used by many Grays residents for relaxation and to get some fresh air.