Feedback on Horniman ideas: the future of the Museum and Gardens

We want your thoughts and comments about a flexible framework, likely to be delivered in phases, that responds to the current and likely future requirements of the Horniman’s ever-growing audience:

1. New Garden Arrival Square

2. Spacious Reception with Improved Facilities

3. Reorganised and Reimagined Museum Spaces

4. Nature Zone and Kindercafé

5. Stepping Gardens

6. Horticultural Hub and Winter Garden

You can read more about these plans online or via a display in the Museum -

We would love to hear your ideas at this initial stage of development – please share your comments on the feedback board the next time you are in the Museum or by emailing before Monday 22 July 2019.


Looking at the proposal:

It appears that the Horniman Play Park (highlighted in red) appears unaltered.

Is there some issue surrounding absolute ownership that is prohibiting investment?

The Play Park already feels like a under-utilised area. To me, it feels like a strange space, almost awkward.

It would be great to see an entrance to the Play Park opposite the main Horniman entrance. The barren Play Park field is mostly unused away from the road. A mot formal path following the perimeter and more trees surrounding that would likely take dog walkers away from the main Horniman field. Also, more trees would better connect the Green Chain Walk, which currently leads through a housing estate.

I feel the plan is to spend a huge amount on money to slightly improve an already good asset, while the underutilised asset of the Play Park is ignored - I cannot understand why.


Is the play park part of the Horniman Museum? I thought it was a Lewisham Council site.

Yes I don’t think it is owned by the Horniman.

These plans look very sensible and a big improvement. The entrance in particular gets noisy and over crowded so better management of that is very much welcomed.

Hi Andy, thank you for your comments. Horniman’s Triangle park is actually owned and managed by the London Borough of Lewisham, but all of your comments will be included as part of the feedback.

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Thanks for your comments Hannah :grinning:

It would be awesome to create more of an affiliation between the two.

The ability for Horniman, as a charity, to apply for funding for some additional facilities would be wonderful. Maybe a conversation between Horniman and Lewisham about the future of this playpark should be begin.

If it hasn’t happened already, it probably needs to begin at sometime in these days of austerity - so why not now?

I’d be interested to know what sort of pollution levels there are in that playground, situated right by the A205 and a junction gathering idling traffic. I can recall all the lorries and buses thundering past. Strange location given the rest of the area seems to be just grass. There is a thick hedge, but no idea how much of a barrier that is.

That aside, some more facilities like that within the horniman grounds would probably see me go there more often. If the playground facilities were limited to the triangle, it would be nice if there was a pedestrian tunnel under the road, connecting the sites.

It would be even nicer if the traffic went under a tunnel, and the sites could be completely joined together. I can dream I guess.

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Yeah I don’t know what brain box put the playground right by the road :-/

A bridge would be more feasible

The key thing I think the Horniman is missing currently is a ‘Changing places’ disabled hoist accessible toilet @HornimanMuseum is this in your plans? Or even better sometime sooner…

The other plans look great. Would be brilliant to see this great local asset go from strength to strength.

Hi @Pea - thanks for your comments - a ‘changing places’ facility is part of the Framework under point 7:

“Relocate the toilet facilities to infill the terrace between the gallery entry ramp and Conservatory, increasing capacity and adding a ‘changing places’ facility.”