Sunday, 6 August 2017

Princes Park, Liverpool

Princes Park was Liverpool's first park, but it was a private development by philanthropist Richard Vaughan Yates. The cost of the park was met through the development of manor houses around the perimeter of the new park, the park itself being designed by Joseph Paxton and James Pennethorne, Paxton going on to design Birkenhead Park. The serpentine lake was designed in-keeping with the aesthetic of the Victorian park, and the houses attracted around the park attracted many notable locals such as James Martineau and John Brodie.

Princes Park Mansions built by Wyatt Papworth in 1843

Princes Park was opened in 1842, and was named after Edward Prince of Wales, Yates giving the park to the city in 1849. The park has some fine historical features; after entering through the original sunburst gates, you will come across the obelisk dedicated to philanthropist Richard Vaughan Yates and its now out-of-use drinking fountain, reminding us of the functioning monuments of Victorian Britain and the importance of drinking fountains to the people as a supply of clean water.

The obelisk dedicated to Yates.
Another worthy monument is of Judy the Donkey dated to 1926, which tells us of how she gave 21 years of unwavering service providing rides for children. The remains of the boathouse, which was burnt down by vandals in the 1990s reminds us of what can easily be lost. Most of the manor houses built around the park had their own private access to the park and their doorways in the wall can still be seen. The park became a template for other municipal Victorian parks, and the design can be seen reflected in the nearby Sefton Park, Newsham Park and Stanley Park, not to mention Birkenhead Park and other municipal parks throughout the country.

The grave stone of Judy the Donkey

The house of John Brodie (1858-1934), civil engineer, 28 Ullet Road, across the road from the park

A view of Princes Park Mansions with a modern tower block dominating the skyline

The remains of the boathouse

Ivy Cottage near the park, on Kelvin Grove

Full view of Ivy Cottage with adverts painted on the side

All photos by Dr David Harrison

© Dr David Harrison 2017

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting read I visited the park yesterday next time I'll look out for a few of the things mentioned.