This 24 acre attractive parkland provides great views across the town and surrounding countryside.
Why is it called Hampson Park?
The park was named in honour of Stevenage resident Thomas Hampson.
Hampson won an Olympic Gold medal in the 800 meters at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics in 1932, setting a new world record. At the same event, Hampson won a Silver medal in the men’s 400 meter relay.
Hampson moved to Stevenage in 1954 where he took up the position of Social Relations Officer in the first town council, the Stevenage Development Corporation.
Thomas Hampson at the presentation ceremony at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
The play area, which is located adjacent to the main car park, was completely upgraded in 2009 and has a range of equipment suitable for toddlers, juniors and teens.
In September 2009, pupils from Thomas Alleynes school requested to make the BMX track more interesting and challenging to use. After appropriate safety checks they re-sculptured parts of the track.
The site has football pitches, multi-Use games area, junior kick about area and an informal garden.
Managing play areas
Play areas are managed closely and inspected daily; litter bins are emptied and litter or broken glass is removed. Play equipment is inspected once a week to ensure safety for continued use.
If you have visited any of our parks recently and found a problem with the equipment or with general cleanliness, please let us know.
Getting to the park
The park lies in the middle of four residential streets; Vardon Road, Webb Rise, Lonsdale Road and Meredith Road.
The park can be accessed from Webb Rise with car parking facility at the main entrance.
Pedestrian access is possible from points around the edge of the park through the surrounding residential areas of Vardon Road, Webb Rise, Lonsdale Road and Meredith Road.
A shared use cycle track and footpath runs through the middle of the park.
Residential areas bordering the park benefit from a bus service providing excellent access to those who rely on public transport.
Hampson Park History
The land that is now Hampson Park was once part of the estate of Highfield House, a substantial Georgian house situated in what was then open country. At the turn of the twentieth century, Highfield House was the home of The Poston family who would regularly entertain notable writers and intellectuals of the time such as George Bernard Shaw. The Poston family were also friends with Mrs Lily Forster and her son, future novelist Edward Morgan.
Elizabeth Poston would become an accomplished composer, pianist and writer; composing scores for radio and television. As well as collaborating with C.S. Lewis and Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth wrote the score for the television production of close friend E. M. Forster’s Howards End whilst living in Forster’s childhood home Rooks Nest, the setting for the novel.
The house was demolished in the early years of the new town. Some of the original garden trees and shrubs still remain.
Hampson Park Tree Trail was established in 2007 and is a short walk taking in trees of interest within the landscape of the park. The trees are numbered to enable identification of species with reference to the interpretation board located near the car park. A number of these trees, notably the two redwoods were once part of the estate of Highfield House.