Gilwell Park celebrates 100yrs this year since it was purchased back in 1919. So here’s ten Facts about Gilwell Park that you might not know.
1- The Dorothy Hughes Pack Holiday Centre was built in 1970 by fitting interlocking logs together from a Norwegian tree, with no nails used to construct the original frame.
2- The land which will now know as. Gilwell Park was previously owned by King Henry VIII, who built a hunting lodge for his son Edward. A later owner of the land built around the lodge, which eventually became the White House
3- The Greenwich Meridian (the line of zero longitude) runs through the campsite
4- Behind the White House is the stone ballustrade from the London Bridge which was pulled down in 1923. The rest of the bridge is in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
5- The campsite is believed to be haunted. For more than 60 years no one would live in the house. Those ghostly noises were later traced to a hidden well. The ghost of Margaret Chinnery has been seen along the Lime Walk that she planted
6- The Gilwell Oak was voted England’s Tree of the Year by the public in 2017
7- A 2nd World War air-raid created the “Bomb Hole” which was enlarged and is used for canoeing
8- On the Buffalo Lawn is a bronze Buffalo, given by the Boy Scouts of America in memory of the unknown Scout who led to the creation of the Boy Scouts in America
9- In 1736 the highwayman Dick Turpin began using Gilwell’s forests to conceal himself and for ambushing travellers and freight along roads leading into London. Legend has it that he used to hide behide the famous Gilwell Oak Tree and pounce out on his victims from behide the Gilwell Oak.
10- Gilwell Park can hold up to 10,000 campers at any one time