Movie Memories - The Omen
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Bishop’s Park stretches along the banks of the Thames from Putney Bridge to Fulham FC's Craven Cottage ground. As well as containing historic Fulham Palace in its grounds, the park has 15 tennis courts, six of which are floodlit, a bowling green, miniature lake and a popular children's play area. Although small in size, the park remains a favourite with west London residents and on the day of the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race, the riverside path within Bishop's Park is guaranteed to be swarming with people.
The London County Council opened Bishop’s Park in 1893, on land given by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. It is listed at Grade II on English Heritage’s Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.
At the Putney Bridge end, adjacent to All Saints church, are Pryors Bank gardens, which contain a small cafe. The park then runs along the north bank of the River Thames, essentially as a broad green avenue with an embankment walkway along the river, before splitting into two arms: one follows the river and has lakes and formal planted beds, whereas the other, along Bishop’s Park Road, contains the tennis courts and bowling greens, with another small park area fronting Fulham Palace Road.
The Park also contains the Moat Trail, which follows the line of the mediaeval moat of Fulham Palace. Alas, this was filled in, between 1921 and 1924. It is said to have been the largest mediaeval moat in the UK, and parts of it may even have dated back to Neolithic times.
Bishop’s Gardens and the adjoining All Saint Church were featured in the 1976 film The Omen starring Gregory Peck, who plays Robert Thorn, the US Ambassador to Italy. When Robert’s wife Katharine has a stillborn child, a priest at the hospital approaches Robert and suggests that he takes a healthy newborn whose mother has just died in childbirth. Without telling his wife he agrees to do so but after relocating to London, strange events - and the ominous warnings of a priest - lead him to believe that the child he took from that Italian hospital is evil incarnate.
Patrick Troughton plays Father Brennan who is seen spouting (fake) passages from Revelations alongside the Thames in Bishops Park. He then meets his demise in the church grounds.
The park is open daily from 07.30am til dusk.
The nearest tube station is Putney Bridge on the District line, about 400m away.
The nearest mainline is Putney Station at the other end of the High Street, a pleasant walk along the shops.
The park is served by numerous buses: 14 - 22 - 39 - 74 - 85 - 93 - 220 - 265 - 270 - 414 - 424 - 430 - 485
Va onfr bs gerr.