Queen's Gardens, Hull

Queen's Gardens, Hull

Queen's Gardens is a sequence of gardens in the centre of Kingston upon Hull, England. They are set out within a convert|9.75|acre|m2|0|sing=on area that until 1930 was filled with the waters of Queen's Dock. As the dock was not fully filled in, the gardens are largely below the level of the surrounding streets.

The gardens have a central avenue of trees aligned with the Wilberforce Monument to the east, which is fronted by a pool with fountains. The statue of William Wilberforce atop a large Doric column was moved to this site in 1935 and originally dominated the gardens. However, the construction of Sir Frederick Gibberd's building for Hull College behind the column in 1962 has reduced its impact. The formal central axis of the gardens is further diminished by post-war planting of Japanese cherry trees in the central avenue, many of which are now over-mature and showing signs of stress and by the informal shrubberies planted on the slope at the western end between the main sunken gardens and a western "circus" of flower gardens at street level.

Either side of the central avenue there are broad areas of lawn, and another two large fountain pools. There are also smaller gardens filled with perennials, and an area at the eastern end of the gardens called the Peace Garden.

The Peace Garden was instituted by Hull City Council for the UN's International Year of Peace in 1986. It was led by Alice Tulley, a councillor and a Quaker, with support from the local CND group, through Hull City Council that year. Peace events were held there with the mayor in attendance. For about 20 years, to date, the Quakers, with other peace activists, have held a Peace Vigil there to commemorate Hiroshima Day. This is held on the Sunday nearest the anniversary of the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Victoria Square is at western end of the gardens, leading to the Princes Quay shopping centre and the Ferens Art Gallery. The gardens are well used, particularly by the local student population.

In 2005 the new "BBC" development was completed at the north west corner of the gardens. This incorporates a tall apartment block.

In 2006 it was announced that Hull Citybuild - Hull's Urban Regeneration Company - had been working with Hull City Council to bring forward "a major public realm design competition" for Queen's Gardens and Queen Victoria Square.

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