Victoria Park, Leamington 7103

Royal Leamington Spa, England, Warwickshire, Warwick

Brief Description

Victoria Park is roughly oval, 350m from east to west, and bounded to the north by the River Leam. Features include a perimeter track for running and cycling and a bandstand.

History

The park, designed by William de Normanville, opened in 1897.

Visitor Facilities

These are municipal parks for general public use.

Detailed Description

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING

The Spa Gardens comprise a linked series of gardens and parks, in all c 20ha, running east/west alongside the River Leam for just over a kilometre through the centre of Leamington Spa. From either end of the Gardens there is access to further green space. West of Victoria Park is a sports ground, Edmondscote, and open fields reaching to St Nicholas Park, Warwick, and on past the Castle to Warwick Castle Park (qv). To the east, along the river, are Welch's Meadow, a local nature reserve, and Newbold Comyn, where a country park was established in 1973.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS

The west side of the tennis ground abuts the north-east corner of Victoria Park, which is roughly oval, 350m from east to west, and again bounded to the north by the Leam. The Park is entered by gates to its north-east (off Archery Road), south-east (off Avenue Road) and south-west. Adjoining the last is a swimming bath, next to which is a lodge. The interior layout of the park is simple, and was designed to accommodate events for large numbers of people with areas for football, cricket and other sports, while around its perimeter is a track for running and cycling. North of its centre is a bandstand. The park, designed by William de Normanville, opened in 1897. It incorporated the western two-thirds of the New River Walk, to which was added land used for fifty years as a cricket and archery ground since it was leased in 1848 by the leading cricketers George Parr (d 1891) and John Wisden (d 1884), the latter later to become better known as the compiler of the eponymous cricket almanac.

References

C Hodgetts, Jephson Gardens, Royal Leamington Spa: Historical Report (Report for Warwick District Council 1997)

Maps

OS 6" to 1 mile: 3rd edition published 1925

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1886; 2nd edition published 1905; 1936 edition; 1939 edition

OS 1:500: 1901 edition

Description written: January 1999

Edited: January 2001

Features
  • River
  • Description: River Leam.
  • Entrance
  • Description: The Park is entered by gates to its north-east (off Archery Road), south-east (off Avenue Road) and south-west.
Gate Lodge, Bandstand
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

These are municipal parks for general public use.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Royal Leamington
History

Detailed History

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

The village of Leamington Priors, at the south end of a bridge across the River Leam, began to be developed as a spa resort in the last years of the 18th century. The first bath houses to be erected were south of the river; urban development on a far larger scale, crucially on open land, began when a spring was discovered north of the Leam. Immediately north of the bridge the land was owned by Bertie Greatheed, whose income from his West Indian sugar plantations had been much reduced by the French wars. In 1808 he formed a partnership with Warwick businessmen to develop a new town on his land focused on a Pump Room, opened in 1814, alongside which the Pump Room Gardens were laid out. Development of the surrounding land began only after it was inherited in 1820 by Edward Willes. He brought in the London architect P F Robinson to lay out Clarendon and Beauchamp Squares and the surrounding streets, with land on the east side of the town being laid out in the later 1820s and 1830s to plans by John Nash and his partner James Morgan, and by J G Jackson, a pupil of Robinson's who in 1832 was appointed Willes' agent. Jackson's schemes included wide promenades and open spaces and what in time became known as Jephson Gardens.

Leamington doubled in size between 1831 and 1841, but growth then slowed leaving large numbers of plots still vacant. The nature of the town changed in the mid century; the fashion for spa treatments waned, the town gained a higher proportion of residential middle-class professionals, while from the 1850s day trippers came by rail. In 1862 the Local Board of Health created the New River Walk on completion of its works to speed the flow of the sewage-laden Leam by raising and straightening its banks. The town gained borough status in 1875, and using powers granted by the 1875 Public Health Act extended New River Walk to the Pump Room Gardens. Additional Powers under the Leamington Spa Corporation Act 1896 enabled the acquisition of land for Victoria Park as a 'people's park'. The final component of Spa Gardens, Mill Garden, opened in 1903.

Associated People

Just one person associated to Victoria Park, Leamington

Contact

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

Click Here

Other websites

Owners

  • Warwick District Council

    Riverside House, Milverton Hill, Leamington Spa, CV32 5HZ