Winter Gardens, Weston-super-Mare 3542

England

Brief Description

The Winter Gardens are municipal gardens created between 1924 and 1927.

Visitor Facilities

This is a municipal park for general public use. It is also a venue for conferences and seminars.

Terrain

coastal

Detailed Description

Entering the gardens from the High Street to the east, one comes first to the italian Garden. It is a formally laid out area separated from the putting green by a terrace wall of Portland stone.

From here most of the area can be seen. To the left are walled sunken gardens now laid to grass with rose-beds. Ahead is a long lily-pond with a pergola on either side. The whole is an attractive and interesting small park. Beyond the lily-pond, along the western edge of the gardens is the large pavilion which overlooks the sea.

The Winter Gardens are maintained carefully as a major feature of the centre of Weston, providing a sheltered area away from the sea breezes.

Features
  • Terrace
  • Description: The terrace is of Portland stone.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Statue
  • Description: Statues representing the Four seasons.
  • Latest Date:
  • Flower Bed
  • Description: Walled sunken gardens, now laid to grass with rose beds.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Pond
  • Description: Lily pond.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Pergola
  • Description: There is a pergola on either side of the lily pond.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Pavilion
  • Description: The pavilion is on the western edge of the gardens, overlooking the sea.
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

This is a municipal park for general public use. It is also a venue for conferences and seminars.

Directions

Take junction 21 from the M5 and follow signs to Weston-super-mare. The gardens are signposted near the town centre.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Weston-super-Mare
History

Detailed History

In 1881, the concept of a winter garden for Weston-Super-Mare was first put forward. Two potential areas were suggested for development: Roger's Field (on the sea-front) or a Boulevard site. Construction went ahead on the latter site, and the Summer and Winter Gardens were opened in August 1882. After many changes of use the main building was destroyed by bombing in 1942, and the site is now occupied by flats.

The idea of developing the site at Roger's Field was raised again in 1914, and the Urban District Council bought the field by compulsory purchase order in 1922. There was extensive discussion about the exact plans for development of the site, but by December 1923 site clearance had begun. However, the ground turned out to be heavily waterlogged with extensive weed growth, and the preparation of the area was difficult.

A new plan for the area was put before the Council in January 1924. A final design was agreed, which included a pavilion (the lack of which had been a contentious point of previous plans). After the resolution of further legal issues work began in earnest.

The Italian Garden was completed first. It had been intended to separate this from the putting green by a clipped hedge. However, the town surveyor, Harry Brown, happened to come across a Portland stone terrace with statuary of the Four Seasons neglected in a War Office dump in Croydon. These were purchased and integrated into the scheme.

In August 1925 the putting green, rose garden, lily pond and alpine gardens were opened to the public. The whole site, including the winter gardens and the pavilion, was opened on 14th July, 1927.

There have been many changes and additions since 1927. An extension was built onto the rear of the pavilion in 1963. In 1964 the alpine garden was taken up and replaced with turf and roses. In 1970 the dividing wall between the tennis courts and sunken garden was reduced in height. In the same year a lead fountain was donated and placed in the Italian garden.

Period

  • Early 20th Century (1901-1932)
References

Contributors

  • Avon Gardens Trust

  • E.J. Spiller

    1