Above: The three parish markers to be seen in Victoria Park.
When Victoria Park was laid out, the only boundaries to the land were those of the parishes. Metropolitan Borough boundaries were created later. The park, therefore, was created as one entity with one administration. When the Metropolitan Boroughs were formed, the park came under three different administrations and problems arose as to which Metropolitan Borough should cut the grass, maintain the flower beds or look after the footpaths. No borough was going to provide a free service for the other.
Above: Early map showing the parish boundaries. Land for the future Victoria Park is shown in green.
It will be seen that three parishes meet at a point (where a red dot has been added to the map). When the Metropolitan Boroughs were formed, the old parish boundaries were converted into Metropolitan Borough boundaries (named in Yellow).
In 1965 Bethnal Green and Poplar were combined (along with Stepney) to form the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The Hackney part became part of the London Borough of Hackney. The rather petty problems of which borough should cut the grass were abolished when, a few years later, the whole of the park was transferred to Tower Hamlets by re-drawing the boundary. This can be seen on any modern map of London, including Google maps (just search for ‘Google Maps London Borough of Tower Hamlets’) where you will see the park enclosed by one boundary.
The anachronism of the three parish markers remains in the park to this day. Each marker is a different shape. Two of them are made of cast-iron and the third is of stone. They represent a glimpse of a different time dating from the 19th century.