Parks

Valley Gardens, Harrogate, Yorkshire

In 2015, we had the chance to visit the Spa Town of Harrogate a couple of times, on one occasion, along with Eddie, my smallest dog, I spent an hour exploring ‘Valley Gardens’  We did’nt get to see the whole of the gardens, as Eddie has little tiny legs and has to walk really fast, so we just pottered along the walkways.  I could have carried him, but trying to take photos while carrying a little dog, is a complete no no, so we just ambled along while I took photos one handed.  I remembered visiting many years ago as a child, and was so glad the pavilion looked the same.

A little history…….The Valley Gardens Harrogate are English Heritage Grade II Listed gardens situated in regal Low Harrogate, which along with woodland, are known as The Pinewoods covers 17 acres.

The Valley Gardens Harrogate contain a greater number of mineral springs than any other known place – visit the area known as Bogs Field where 36 different mineral wells were discovered.

Valley Gardens was developed as an attractive walk for visitors to the Spa town, part of their health regime between taking the waters, and as a means of access to the mineral springs of Bogs Field. The waterside walk with flowers and trees became a place for promenading, socialising and taking exercise. Photographs of the gardens in the early 20th century testify to their enormous popularity with crowds around the tea room, boating lake and bandstand. The Sun Pavilion and Colonnades were built as an added attraction and facility for the spa, intended as the first phase of a covered way linking the Pump Room and Royal Bath Hospital. Visitors to the mineral springs declined but the horticultural reputation of the Gardens grew with the staging of the Northern Horticultural Society’s Spring Flower Show in the Gardens and the addition of special garden areas.

The Cherub Fountain
In 1972 a leading Harrogate Councillor was visiting the Chelsea Flower show, where he saw a sculpture created by a young Australian called John Robinson, the Councillor took it upon himself to order the piece, which was presented to the then Director of Parks, Mr Alan Ravenscroft, on the 23 May 1972, where it was installed upon a circular stone surround in the centre of the Valley Gardens.

 

Fountain in the Park, Kings Lynn, Norfolk

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When St James Park in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, was created out of the old St James Burial Ground in 1903, the Lord Mayor of Kings Lynn presented the town with a fountain for the new ornamental park.

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From the plaque on the side of the fountain  ‘This fountain was presented to the town by F J Carpenter Mayor 1902-1903 in September 1903 and refurbished in 2008″  The fountain is a focal point for the 4 main paths in the park.  The Mayor, Mr Frederick John Carpenter was a manager of Laws and Co which I think was a public house, but that is all I can find out about the gentleman.  But his name will live on all the time the fountain is in the park, not a bad way to be remember by, a fountain in the park.

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After the fountain was refurbished in 2008, vandals caused damage, one evening they broke off the original urns and threw them into the fountain….so the ones you see now are just modern copies, which is a shame .

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While I was snapping away, I had company, I suddenly looked up and found that I was being watched by this little fellow.

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Further along I saw this lovely glossy crow watching the antics of two young squirrels.

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I will return in the summer when the trees are in leaf and all the flowers are in bloom as I think it will be worth another visit.  There is a lot of history in this park with the fragment of St Johns Chapel and the tombstones from the burial ground, so yes a visit in the sunshine is a must.