Unusually, this park was created out of land which had previously been built on. It is one of the largest parks in south London, and is still unfinished. The area was developed in the 19th century and badly damaged by WW2 bombs. The concept of the Park came from the 1943 Abercrombie plan for open spaces in London. In the early 1970s the Grand Surrey Canal (which used to run east-west through the southern Park) was closed and only part of it retained. Originally called St George's Park, renamed in 1974 for Councillor Jessie Burgess, Camberwell's first woman Mayor.