One of five registered sites in the city of Norwich which form part of a set of public parks laid out in the 1920s and 1930s by the then Parks Superintendent, Captain A Sandys-Winsch.
At the beginning of the C20 the present area of the park formed part of a larger expanse known as Heigham Playing Fields which lay just beyond the city, bordering to the west onto open countryside. As housing spread, a decision was made to convert 6 acres (2.5ha) of the site into a park, the first purpose-built park to be created in the city in the C20. Work started in 1921 and the design by the Parks Superintendent, Captain A Sandys-Winsch, a protégé of Thomas Mawson, took three years to complete, the park being formally opened in 1924. The park continues (1999) in use as a public amenity. The other four registered parks which make up the Sandys-Winsch series are Wensum Park; Waterloo Park; Eaton Park; and Mile Cross Gardens.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Heigham Park lies to the south-west of the centre of Norwich and occupies a flat c 2.5ha site on an island of land between The Avenues to the north, Jessop Road to the south, Christchurch Road to the west, and Recreation Road to the east. This residential part of the city was formed during the late Victorian and Edwardian expansion of the suburbs.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The only entrance to the park is via an iron gate at the north-east corner off The Avenues.
From the entrance gate a path leads between yew hedges to the circle which forms the centre of the design, formerly laid out with a fountain and pool but now filled in and planted with flowers. A cross of paths off this divides the park into unequal segments.
The eastern part is occupied by a children's playground, the equipment having been modernised in the late C20. The southern segment comprises an open grassed area, divided from the playground by a straight walk. As designed, this led into a circular rose garden but the feature has since been incorporated into the playground. Opposite the rose garden walk, a short path leads off the central circle north to the bowling green pavilion, toilets, and bicycle park. To the west of this, enclosed by yew hedges, is the bowling green itself.
The western half of the site is bisected by a walk which leads from the central bed, between borders and flower beds set in grass and backed by yew hedging, to an ironwork screen and gate decorated with a sunflower motif. Beyond is the yew-hedged square of tennis lawns which occupy the north-west corner of the site. The line of the west walk continues across the centre of the courts to a pavilion.
To the south of the west walk is an area used as a depot. South of the tennis courts, occupying the south-west corner of the site, is a second bowling green, along the north side of which runs a pergola which incorporates a pavilion. At its eastern end, the pergola joins with the avenue which continues the line of the entrance walk on the south-west side of the central circle. At its southern end this walk loops round the bowling green, through an informal area of shrubs to meet with the western end of the pergola.
G Goreham, The parks and open spaces of Norwich (1961)
The Norwich Parks (Norwich City Council internal report 1993)
A Sandys-Winsch, Plan of Heigham Park, 1928 (City Hall, Norwich)
OS 25" to 1 mile: 3rd edition published 1926
Description written: December 1999
Register Inspector: EMP
Edited: February 2001