Wyndham Memorial Park 6870

Grantham, England, Lincolnshire, South Kesteven

Brief Description

Wyndham is an early-20th-century park opened in 1924 as a World War 1 Memorial park that forms part of Grantham Riverside Walk by the River Witham. Features include the recreational field and playgrounds, paddling pool, bowling greens and tennis courts.

History

In 1920 Dowager Lady Leconfield donated £1000 towards a memorial to perpetuate the memory of her son, Lieutenant the Honourable William Reginald Wyndham, 1st Life Guards killed in action November 1914, aged 38. Grantham Town Council elected to create the Wyndham World War 1 Memorial Park by changing the name of the town's Slate Mill Park and developing it as a memorial park. It was opened by Lady Leconfield in July 1924.

Visitor Facilities

Open daily.

Terrain

river valley with rising grassland, previously fields, to the east

Detailed Description

Wyndham Park is a 5 hectare landscaped town park and playing field forming part of Grantham's Riverside Walk and links to Queen Elizabeth II Park, a naturalised wildlife area with walks. The White Bridge forms a striking eye-catcher in the park, and central to the superb river vista of St Wulfram's Church dominating the town, and on view from Belton Lane. Features include a lime avenue, a veteran Robinia pseudoacacia by Park Entrance girth measured 325 cms (128 inches) (2006 Informal tree survey); a wooden rose pergola surrounding a rectangular paddling pool; a small boating lake and pavilion; two bowling greens and bowling club; the original 1920s spectator pavilion/bandstand with iron pillars (listed; possibly built by J. Coultas engineering ironworks Grantham), two tennis courts, skate park, garden for the blind children's and toddlers playgrounds, a cafe and walks. A footbridge to the Redcross Street entrance to the park has wrought iron gates (2008) by Malcolm Lane and Sons, Cropwell Bishop.
Features
Building, Planting
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

Open daily.

Directions

From Grantham town centre take the A607 going north for Lincoln, Wyndham Park is on the right at the corner of Manthorpe Rd and Belton Lane, with the River Witham flowing through.
History

Detailed History

WYNDHAM WWI MEMORIAL PARK

In 1615 the area of land and mills assigned for the marriage of King James of Scotland and Anne of Denmark were given over by the Queen Consort "for the common utility & public good of the Town & the Corporation of Grantham & the Burgesses of the same ...". Cattle grazing and fairs were held on the land.In the seventeenth century John Evelyn described Grantham in his diary:"A pretty town situated on the side of a bottom which is large, and at a distance environed by ascending grounds, that, for pleasure, I consider it comparable to most inland places in England."In the eighteenth century antiquarian Dr William Stukeley wrote of Grantham: "It is a very pleasant place in a fine country."

During the 1880s slump amid concern for local health, the River Witham was dammed and diverted to make a Bathing Place, a public swimming pool. The work was done by the unemployed and the area became known as Slate Mill Park. In 1912 P. C. F. de Paravacini donated land "for the purpose of a public recreation ground". After WWI, in 1920 Dowager Lady Leconfield donated £1000 towards a memorial to perpetuate the memory of her son,Lt. Hon. William Reginald Wyndham,1st Life Guards killed in action November 1914, aged 38, the third son of Henry Wyndham, 2nd Baron Leconfield 1830-1901 and grandson of 3rd Earl of Egremont, MP for West Sussex. A keen huntsman who spent winter months living on Town Parade, Wyndham had taken an interest in Grantham, and donated his big game trophies to the town. So it was agreed to re-name Slate Mill Park, and develop it as the town war memorial. This was more than appropriate as countless thousands of soldiers had passed that way along Belton Lane to their training camp in Belton Park. The scheme begun in 1922 cost about £5,000, whereby about 400 unemployed were paid by the Board of Guardians the standard unemployment rate of 1 shilling (5p) an hour. In July 1924 Lady Leconfield officially opened the park. In 1928 the Wyndham Park Bowls Club was founded. The park's brick arched gateway entrance (1935) is topped by a weathervane depicting WWI soldiers. To mark the Silver Jubilee of George V, 2,000 pupils, including one Margaret Roberts later Prime minister Margaret Thatcher, performed a Pageant of Youth in the park watched by 10,000 adults. On May 8th 1945, VE Day, the town celebrated the end of World War II with bands playing in the park. In 1953 a parade was held to mark the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In 1955 a Tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, was planted in memory of Henry Stubley Parks Superintendent (1924 to 1955) On 14th June 2006 its girth measured 140 cms (55 inches). In 1963, with 6,000 cheering and enthusiastic schoolchildren massed in the park, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother visited for the town's Quincentenary Celebrations, and planted a copper beech, Fagus sylvatica purpurea near the nursery school.

In March 1975 the District Council's weather station in Wyndham Park recorded 39.9mm of rain after sixteen hours of continuous rain, which caused River Witham to overflow, and severe flooding in Grantham. In 1978 a skateboard park opened on the site of swimming pool. In 1979 30 trees affected by Dutch Elm disease were felled and an avenue of lime trees planted, named after Councillor Lloyd Ramsden. In1995 when the skateboard craze diminished, the area was once more filled in with water for a model boating lake the Grantham Model Boat Club. The same year a New Pavilion for the Bowling Club was opened. In September 1998 Annual Championship of National Model Power Boat Association was held for first time at Grantham. Since 2003 the park is undergoing restoration under the auspices of the Wyndham Park Forum, a volunteer group. The Forum meets on average once a month and comprises of representatives from South Kesteven District Council, Wyndham Park Bowls Club, G-zone skate park, Grantham District Model Boat Club and Grantham River Care, and Lincolnshire Gardens Trust who are all anxious to improve the park, and thereby increase public use and involvement with projects. In 1999 the original plaque from the pavilion bandstand commemorating WWI soldiers was restored and hung outside Mayor's office in the Guildhall for safety. The Wyndham Park Forum commissioned a replica which since 2008 has hung in the pavilion bandstand with the words:

1914 PAX 1918

This park is dedicated to those men

of the Borough of Grantham

who in their country's hour of need

went forth

endured hardness

faced danger

and finally passed out of the

sight of men by the path of sacrifice and

the gate of death

* * * * * * * * *

Let all who come after

see to it

that what they strove for

perish not

and that these grounds for

our enjoyment be preserved

to their undying memory

Contact

Telephone

01476 406073

Official Website

Click Here

Other websites

Owners

  • South Kesteven District Council

    Council Offices St Peters Hill Grantham Lincolnshire, NG31 6PZ
References

Contributors

  • Steffie Shields

    1