Heritage Category: Park and Garden
List Entry Number: 1001298
Date first listed: 28-Mar-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Sandwell (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference: SO 99494 95419
A public park laid out in the late 1880s on the site of a former pit mound, to the designs of William Barron and Son.
The site, a former pit mound, was purchased by Wednesbury UDC for £3000 in 1886, from the Patent Shaft and Axletree Co Ltd. William Barron was obviously favoured as designer for the new park, and the minute book of the local Board of Health records that a committee made a visit to Abbey Park in Leicester (qv) to see other work carried out by Messrs Barron and Son and that they were favourably impressed. As a result, later in 1886, William Barron was commissioned to prepare plans, and subsequently to supply the trees and shrubs. The park was opened on 21 June 1887. It remains a public park.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING The park lies 1km east of the centre of Wednesbury. It is bounded to the south-east by Brunswick Park Road, to the south-west by the gardens of houses along Foley Street, to the north-west by Wood Green Road (the A461 from Wednesbury to Walsall, 3km to the north-east), and to the north by a municipal cemetery. The registered area comprises 8ha.
ENTRANCE AND APPROACHES The main gateway to the park is at a lodge, part of the original scheme, on Wood Green Road.
PARK The main gateway to the park is at the lodge on Wood Green Road which, with a row of housing backing onto Foley Street, forms the western boundary of the site. The railings and boundary plantings were cleared during the 1960s, to give a more open-plan link with the surrounding housing. To the north, the site abuts the cemetery; to the east, beyond Brunswick Park Road, is the South Staffordshire railway line.
The northern half of the site is treated as open lawn surrounded by plantings and informal paths. The pit mound which occupied the southern end of the site was retained as a feature and landscaped with a network of paths leading to the summit. This was levelled and set out with a pair of shelters but these had gone by the 1930s and presumably, like the original bandstand, had been built in a rustic style out of short-lived materials.
As first laid out, the bandstand stood towards the north-west corner of the site, close to the site of the present clock, erected in 1911 to commemorate the coronation of George V. This arrangement was replaced by the present plan with the bandstand towards the centre of the site, fitted in to the existing path structure against the northern side of the mound. A little to the east is a drinking fountain which replaces the cast-iron original donated in 1899.
The paddling pool in the north-east corner of the park was relandscaped from Barron's pool, again in the inter-war period. Around the same date, the putting green, bowling greens and tennis courts were put in on ground to the east of the mound.
S Whitehouse, Study of the Black Country Public Parks, 1994 (EH file)
Maps OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1890 2nd edition published 1903 3rd edition published 1919 1937 edition
Description written: March 1999 Register Inspector: PAS Edited: October 1999
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 2327
Legacy System: Parks and Gardens
This garden or other land is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by Historic England for its special historic interest.
End of official listing