- Grosvenor Park, Chester
Grosvenor Park is a public park in the city of
Chester, Cheshire, England(gbmapping|SJ412663). It consists of AcreAndHectare |20| round=2 of land overlooking the River Dee. It is regarded as one of the finest and most complete examples of Victorian parks in the northwest of England, if not nationally.cite web |url=http://www.chester.gov.uk/tourism_and_leisure-1/culture_and_leisure/grosvenor_museum/information_sheets/grosvenor_park.aspx |title=Information Sheet: Grosvenor Park |accessdate=2008-04-25 |publisher= Chester City Council]
The land, which consisted of fields, was given to the city by
Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster. The Marquess also paid for the design of the park by Edward Kemp. It was laid out in 1865–66 and opened with great celebration in November 1867.
Grosvenor Park Lodge
This was originally the park keeper's lodge and is now the City Council's parks & gardens office. It was designed by John Douglas and is the first recorded commission for Douglas by the Grosvenor family. It is in two storeys, the lower storey being built in red
sandstoneand the upper storey being timber framed with plaster panels. The roofs are of red-brown tiles.cite web |url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?pid=1&id=469807 |title=Images of England: Park Lodge, Grosvenor Park |accessdate=2008-04-25 |publisher= English Heritage] On the upper storey are eight carvings which represent William the Conqueror and the seven Norman Earls of Chester. The building is the first known example of Douglas' use of black-and-white architecture. The lodge is a Grade II listed building.
In addition to ornamental flower beds, grassed areas, trees and footpaths, the park contains a number of other features. Before the park was established there was in one of the fields a well, Billy Hobby's Well, which was reputed to have magical properties. John Douglas designed a canopy to stand over the site of the well. Money was raised by public subscription to erect a statue to the 2nd Marquess in 1859. The statue was originally surrounded by four guns, two being
Boerguns which were captured in the Boer War and the other two were Russian guns which had been captured at Sebastopol in the Crimean War. The guns are no longer present. In the park are three fragments from medieval buildings. St Mary's Arch with its wing walls dates from around the 13th century and formerly stood in St Mary's Benedictine Nunnery; the Old Shipgate Arch formerly stood to the west of the Bridgegate and was taken down in 1831; and Jacob's Well Drinking Fountain consisting of a small stone arch with a drinking fountain for people and a dish for their pets, which is now dry. Also in the park is an archway which was removed from St Michael's church. [cite book | last =Pevsner | first =Nikolaus | authorlink =Nikolaus Pevsner | coauthors =Edward Hubbard | title =The Buildings of England: Cheshire |edition= | publisher = Yale University Press| date =2003| origyear=1971| location =New Haven & London| pages =160 | url = | doi = | id = | isbn =0 300 09588 0 ] During the laying out of the park a long line of Roman earthenware water-pipes was discovered close to the lodge which used to bring fresh water from Boughton to the Roman fortress. In the 1950s a rockery was constructed on the southern edge of the park with waterfalls, streams and fountains. The main gates of the park, together with other gate piers and sections of the park walls, all designed by John Douglas, are listed Grade II. [cite web |url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?pid=1&id=469806 |title=Images of England: Main gateway, to Grosvenor Park Road, and yard gate piers |accessdate=2008-04-25 |publisher= English Heritage] [cite web |url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?pid=1&id=469808 |title=Images of England: Park wall and gate piers from Love Street north to Hobby's Well south |accessdate=2008-04-25 |publisher= English Heritage] [cite web |url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?pid=1&id=469809 |title=Images of England: Park wall and piers east of Hobby's Well to Dee Lane & Headlands |accessdate=2008-04-25 |publisher= English Heritage] [cite web |url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?pid=1&id=469810 |title=Images of England: Park wall between main Gateway & St Augustine's Convent |accessdate=2008-04-25 |publisher= English Heritage]
A number of cultural and horticultural events, including events in the Summer Music Festival, are held in the park. Also in the park is the Grosvenor Park Miniature Railway which was built in 1996 to commemorate the centenary of the
Duke of Westminster's railway at Eaton Hall. It has a gauge of convert|7.25|in|cm|0 and a circuit of convert|0.25|mi|km|. [cite web |url=http://www.gpmr.co.uk/ |title=Grosvenor Park Miniature Railway |accessdate=2008-04-25 |publisher=Chester Railways ]
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