Royal Pump Room Gardens


Royal Pump Room Gardens

The Royal Pump Room Gardens is a popular open space found in the centre of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England, next to the Royal Pump Rooms and just north of the River Leam. Despite being named "gardens" there is only one convert|5.4|acre|m2|sing=on area divided by footpaths with an ironwork bandstand in the centre.

To begin with the gardens were only for the use of patrons of the Royal Pump Rooms "to afford them pleasant promenades"." The original bandstand was later erected and bands played in the afternoon and evening during the summer (and other public holidays) for those paying to use the baths. However in 1875 the gardens were opened to the public. [ [http://www.royal-leamington-spa.co.uk/preview/htmlfiles/history_02.asp Pump Room information from the official Leamington Spa website] ] In 1881 plans were made to build the town hall on the gardens but at the last minute a change of site was agreed and it was built further north near The Regent Hotel. The current bandstand was designed by Walter MacFarlane & Co and founded in Glasgow. It was installed in 1896. [ [http://www.scottishironwork.org/catdetail.asp?ironid=444 Information on the bandstand from the Scottish Ironwork website] ] Also the only remaining examples of the original Leamington cast iron gas lamps can be found alongside the south side of the gardens.

The gardens originally contained decorative flower beds but with the decline in fortunes of the Pump Rooms themselves these have been grassed over. Bands still play in the bandstand, although very infrequently but the gardens host the annunal Leamington Peace Festival, a fun fair once a year and farmers markets once a month. It is also a popular place for young people, especially those from the nearby University of Warwick to sunbathe and play football. As it lies so close to the river it is part of the town that is most frequently flooded. The last two times such floods occurred were at Easter 1998 and in the summer of 2007. [ [http://www.benfieldhrc.org/activities/misc_papers/april98UKFloods.pdf A good report on the causes and effects of the 1998 floods] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/6911778.stm A brief report of the Leamington flood of 2007 from the BBC] ]

Notes

References

* Cave, Lyndon F (1988) "Royal Leamington Spa", Phillimore, Chichester


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