Heritage Category:
Park and Garden
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Queen's Garden, Station Road, Sedbergh


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Statutory Address:
Queen's Garden, Station Road, Sedbergh

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Lakeland (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:


A public memorial garden to Queen Victoria, 1901-2, designed and laid out by Thomas Mawson.

Reasons for Designation

This early C20 memorial garden to Queen Victoria is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Date: a good example of a public garden laid out as a memorial to Queen Victoria * Intactness: the garden remains substantially intact and very closely reflects its original design * Landscaping: although a relatively simple design, significant attention has been paid to the landscaping and enhancement of the natural topography * Designer: Thomas Mawson is a renowned national figure and acknowledged as the founder of modern landscape architecture and garden design


The creation of a public park has often been seen as an admirable means of marking a national figure or event, and in particular, members of, or events connected to, the royal family. The Golden and Diamond Jubilees of Queen Victoria were most often linked to the public park movement and a good number of towns saw fit to celebrate the occasion in this way.

Queen's Garden was designed and laid out by Thomas Mawson shortly after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. Mawson is a garden designer and town planner of national importance, who became the first President of the Institute of Landscape Architects, was a President of the Royal Town Planning Institute and an honorary member of the RIBA. Twenty-one of his designed landscapes are included on the Register, one at Grade I and three others at Grade II*. His designs were site-led, each garden and landscape being subtly different from the others. A watercolour design for the Queen's Garden produced by Mawson, indicates that, with only minor adjustments, his design was executed in its entirety. It is a solid design, which makes use of the natural topography of the plot by using the highest, central point as its centrepiece and the site of the memorial cross. The site has been landscaped to produce a symmetrical layout with a complex of straight and curvilinear paths essentially dividing the garden into a series of compartments, each comprising a mixture of planting blocks and open spaces. Overall, it a well executed example of an early C20 public garden, which reflects the quality of its design and the level of attention given to its landscaping. For these qualities the garden has special historic interest. The land for the park was given by Mrs Upton-Cottrell-Dormer of Ingmire Hall. Mawson's original watercolour design (undated) survives in Kendal Record Office, and with a few minor exceptions, the gardens are considered to reflect this design. Mawson's entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography outlines his achievements and he is widely considered the founder of modern landscape architecture and garden design. The gardens were formally opened at the unveiling of their centrepiece, a commemorative Celtic cross to Queen Victoria, on October 31 1902 and were formally handed over to the parish council on March 26 1906. During the early C20, a bowling green was constructed to the south of the park upon land donated by the Upton-Cottrell-Dormer Family.


LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Queen’s Garden lies on the western edge of Sedbergh, fronting onto the main A684, and comprises a total of 0.95 ha. It is bounded on all sides by dry stone walls with the north side and parts of the east and west sides having triangular coping stones. The north side has a central gated entrance with narrow gated entrances to each side. The garden occupies a low knoll, the top of which forms the centre point of the garden.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The principal entrance to the park is from the north off the present A684. It is marked by an entrance with an ornate wrought iron gate between ashlar sandstone piers surmounted by ball finials. The entrance leads directly south along a straight central pathway towards the Queen Victoria Memorial. There are two further entrances, one to each side of the central entrance towards the corners of the north wall with similarly styled, but shorter, gates and piers. Each of these gates leads south along flanking straight paths. Other entrances are later breaches and that in the north-east corner now forms the principal entrance to the park in order to avoid traffic on the now busy A684.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING The Queen Victoria Memorial Cross stands at the highest part of the garden on its central axis and clearly forms the centre point of the design. It is a 5m high tapering Anglo-Celtic cross.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS The gardens have a formal symmetrical design with an axial path leading from the principal entrance, flanked on either side by straight secondary paths leading from each of the secondary entrances; all three paths run the full length of the garden and are linked by a transverse path at the south end. Within this geometric structure, other paths form a truncated figure of eight.

The axial path runs southwards from the main entrance flanked in part by low stone walls and specimen cedar trees mixed with a variety of maples. It rises to the highest part of the garden via a series of stone steps with flanking low walls. Before it reaches the memorial cross, stone steps also lead left and right along curving paths to the north and south forming the truncated figure of eight. The low knoll forming the highest point is partially revetted with stone and at its summit the memorial cross is situated within an octagonal gravelled space marked by low edging stones. The axial path continues to run southwards flanked by low yew hedges with at one point small rectangular recesses. After its junction with the south end of the figure of eight path system it approaches a large circular garden feature defined by high stone walls with rectangular coping and after passing through this, descends the knoll via a stone flight of steps to emerge at the south side of the park into what was once a formal planted area, now occupied by a large bowling green and public toilets. The site of a former bandstand is visible on the grassy bank to the left. Within the compartments created by the highly structured designs much of the original planting and open spaces survive including holly, cedar, a variety of maple, beech and conifers.


Books and journals
Waymark, J, Thomas Mawson: Life, Gardens and Landscapes, (2009)
, accessed from http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/37748
Copy of original watercolour plan for the proposed Queen Victoria Memorial Cross to be erected in Queen's Garden Sedbergh (undated); available in Kendal Record Office.,


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

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