East Park, Wolverhampton 4813

East Park, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England

Brief Description

East Park is a public park dating from the late-19th century, designed by Thomas Mawson. Most of the original features have been lost, although the bandstand remains.

History

This public park was created by Wolverhampton Council, and opened in September 1896.

Visitor Facilities

This is a municipal site for general public use. Please see: http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/leisure_culture/parks_recreation/parks/major.htm

Detailed Description

The park has changed little in terms of morphology and ground plan since its original design, though Mawson's large, central boating lake was lost in the 1920s, due to drainage problems caused by mineshafts. Moreover, there have been major changes in structural elements. The swimming pool, nursery, tennis pavillion, and boathouses have all been lost, and though the bandstand remains, it is in poor repair. Recent additions include new tennis courts, an 'Astroturf' sports field, a cycle track, golf course, and children's play area.

Features
  • Bandstand
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  • Outdoor Swimming Pool
  • Description: Post-war paddling pool
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Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

This is a municipal site for general public use. Please see: http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/leisure_culture/parks_recreation/parks/major.htm
History

Detailed History

East Park was the second public park created by Wolverhampton Council in the latter years of the 19th century. The land was donated by the Duke of Sutherland and local industrialist Sir Alfred Hickman, following political pressure that resulted from the creation of Wolverhampton's West Park. The 49-acre site sat on derelict land riddled with the mineshafts and spoilheaps of the old Chillington colliery. As such, the project was one of the country's first civic schemes aimed at reclaiming derelict land.

In the spirit of the time, a design competition was held, but none of the entries met the corporation's budgetary stipulations. Nonetheless, one of the entrants, Thomas Mawson, was retained as a consultant, and advised the Borough Surveyor on the design of the park. The design included a children's play area, an outdoor swimming pool, and 11 acres of sports grounds, as well as shrubberies, flower beds, and basic amenities. The main feature was a large boating lake, though plans for a large building (an eyecatcher) overlooking it never reached fruition. In contrast, a bandstand was built, though this was not present on the original plans. In 1887, an impressive clock tower (known as the Lysaght Memorial Clock Tower) was built, creating an important local landmark and focal point for the park.

East Park was opened by the Lady Mayoress of Wolverhampton in September 1896. The park as it existed at this time amounted to a simplified version of Mawson's grand scheme. It featured an outdoor swimming pool, nursery, tennis pavillion, and boathouses. Unfortunately, the venture was less successful than was hoped. This was perhaps partly because of problems with access (the main entrance tracked through rough ground). Another problem may have been the lack of domestic housing in the immediate area. Finally, problems keeping the boating lake ‘topped up' undermined one of the park's major attractions.

Nonetheless, the park was reinvigorated soon after World War II, following the construction of housing nearby. This led to the construction of new sport and leisure facilities, and to this day plans to restore and refurbish neglected elements of the park persist.

Associated People

Just one person associated to East Park, Wolverhampton