|Leazes Park shown within Tyne and Wear|
Leazes Park is a park in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is the city's oldest park, opened in 1873, and lies to the west of the city centre. The park contains a lake above the course of the Lort Burn. It is next to St James' Park and the Royal Victoria Infirmary.
The creation of a Leazes Park was a drawn out process. In September 1857 3,000 working men petitioned Newcastle Council for ‘ready access to some open ground for the purpose of health and recreation’ and a year later a special committee was set up to try to find a location for a park. Aldermen Harle and Hamond took up the challenge and campaigned for a park and eventually succeeded in having Leazes Park created on a part of the Leazes Town Moor. On the 23 December 1873 Leazes Park was officially opened by Alderman Sir Charles Hamond. It became the first public park created on Tyneside. John Fulton, the Town Surveyor, laid out Leazes Park similar to other parks being built in Britain at that time. The layout centres on the lake. The Bandstand and Terrace were added and later the whole park was surrounded with metal railings. A second lake was created in 1893 but this was filled in in 1949 and the area used for a bowling green and tennis courts.
The grand Jubilee gates were added in 1896 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria and a Palm House was built. In 1905 a bust of Alderman Sir Charles Hamond was erected as the centrepiece to the Terrace and the park was then complete. The park continued to develop with deer, aviaries, tennis, and croquet until the 1980s when it was in need of refurbishment. The refurbishment became possible when the park was awarded £3.7 million from the National Lottery in 2001. The restoration project was completed in 2004.
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