Pelican playground in Chigwell

March 13th 2018
By: Melanie Hollidge
Pelican playground in Chigwell

Who would have thought there was a Pelican playground in Chigwell? Well, there is and it’s at Grange Farm Lane just off the High Rd in Chigwell, IG7 6DP. Its name has an interesting origin the Pelican Playground is named after a ship!

On December 13, 1577, Sir Francis Drake set off with a fleet of five ships on an expedition to America.  Three years later, only one ship returned but it was heavily laden with a cargo of Spanish treasure. Drake was only the second person to have sailed all the way around the world and the first Englishman to have managed the epic journey.
The ship he returned on was originally called 'The Pelican, but it was renamed 'The Golden Hinde' after Drake's patron, Sir Christopher Hatton. The Lord Chancellor Sir Christopher Hatton’s family crest featured a golden hinde otherwise known as a deer.

At the heart of Pelican playground in Chigwell, is a large wooden ship. Locals might prefer to call it ‘pirate ship playground’ but either way it’s a lovely spot for young children to play. Lots of the play equipment for the large sandpit is built into beautifully built wooden structures. The ship structure has ropes and a slide, there are some small wooden houses, swings, springers, stepping stone logs and some beautiful living willow tunnels. 

Around the outside of the play area, there’s a fence which makes it more relaxing for parents who don’t have to panic about the children escaping. The grassy area around the edge of the equipment offers more play area and there are benches and picnic benches to enjoy as the weather warms up. There isn’t a cafe on site so you will need to take food and drink with you.

There is a small car park right next to the Pelican playground in Chigwell which is free. Sadly you won’t find any real Pelicans but it’s a great story to enjoy. Pelican Playground website