Summary

Site is open to the public. Opening may be limited, please check Visitor Information for any restrictions.

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Brief description of site

The Prince Consort Gardens is a municipal park created in the 1860s.

Brief history of site

The gardens were planted in the 1860s and named in memory of Prince Albert.

Location information:

Address: Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, BS23 1JN

Local Authorities:

North Somerset; Weston-super-Mare

Historical County: Somerset

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 182 Grid Ref: ST308623
Latitude: 51.3555 Longitude: -2.99517

Key information:

Form of site: public park

Purpose of site: public park

Context or principal building: public park

Site first created: 1860 to 1869

Main period of development: Mid 19th century

Survival: Extant

Site Size (Hectares): 0.8

Description

Prince Consort Gardens consists of a roughly triangular garden on the sea front overlooking Birnbeck Island and pier. The Garden divides into two areas, one being the upper level plateau abutting Upper Kewstoke Road and on the western side is the cliff face, which abutts Birkett Road. The garden is laid to lawn with tarmac paths. A flower bed surrounds it and in the centre is a circular pond with a fountain. To the south of this area is a rockery and hedge behind which is a larger pond. This pond is now concrete-lined and used in the summer by children paddling or sailing toy boats.

 

Prince Consort Gardens are well-maintained by the volunteer Friends of Prince Consort Gardens group.

Owner: North Somerset Council

Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare

Site designation(s)

Conservation Area Reference Birkbeck

Environment

Terrain: Coastal

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

This is a municipal park for general public use.

History

The area was originally a fairly bare windswept hillside known as 'Flagstaff Hill'. In the 1860s the area was upgraded. The gardens were planted and named in memory of Prince Albert. The Birnbeck Pier was opened in 1867. A picture of Prince Consort Promenade in 1864 shows the pond, fountain and flower beds when they were fairly new.

The lower triangle (now a car park) contained the Flagstaff, a fountain and tennis lawn. The evergreen trees and shrubs provided a screen from the strong westerly sea winds (see the Ordnance Survey map of the area, 1886).

Prince Consort Gardens were handed over for the free use of the public in 1883 by Mr. Cecil Hugh Smyth-Pigott. 

Site timeline

01/06/2013: The site was designated as a Town Green, which means that it cannot be developed, in perpetuity.

Features

pond

This pond at the southern end, is used in the summer by children paddling or sailing toy boats.

lawn

The upper plateau is mainly laid to lawn having a border with Upper Kewstoke Road containing large phormiums.

rockery

There is a natural cliff face which borders Birkett Road containing a lower esplanade which was laid in 1882 and includes a Victorian shelter.

fishpond

In the centre of the upper plateau is a circular pond containing goldfish and with a water feature.

References

Organisations associated with this site

Avon Gardens Trust

Friends of Prince Consort Gardens Role: Special Interest Group

Sources of information

Application for a Charter of Incorporation

Urban District Council of Weston-Super-Mare Application for a Charter of Incorporation (Weston-Super-Mare, 1935)

Ordnance Survey map of Weston-Super-Mare

Ordnance Survey Map of Weston-Super-Mare (1886)

Contributor or Recorder Avon Gardens Trust; Friends of Prince Consort Gardens

Images

  • Prince Consort Gardens, plan view

    Prince Consort Gardens, plan view

  • Prince Consort Gardens, view from the sea

    Prince Consort Gardens, view from the sea