Folkestone Gardens was created in the 1970s on the site of war-damaged housing and is on undulating ground with woodland areas, grass and a large pond in the north-west, which was restored in 1994. An island with weeping willow is in the centre of the pond. The gardens are overlooked and completely surrounded by railway lines.
By the early 20th century the area was heavily built up with housing. The Grand Surrey Canal ran past the northern end of the present park from Camberwell to the Surrey Docks. In 1945 the area was badly bombed, destroying many houses and causing 52 deaths. In the late 1960s/early 1970s the houses were cleared and the park was laid out.