|Capacity||no permanent seating|
Norham Gardens End
|Domestic team information|
|As of 15 December 2007
The Oxford University Parks, commonly referred to locally as the University Parks, the Uni Parks or just The Parks, is a large parkland area slightly northeast of the city centre in Oxford, England. It is open to the public during the day, and has beautiful gardens, large sports fields, and rare and exotic plants. It includes a cricket ground used by Oxford University Cricket Club.
From 1853 to 1864, the University of Oxford purchased a total of 91 acres (37 ha) of land from Merton College to build the parks. Some of this land was then used for the University Museum and the Science Area, so the current site is measured at about 74 acres (30 ha). The park is situated mostly on the west bank of the River Cherwell, though a small plot of land called Mesopotamia sits between the upper and lower levels of the river. The Parks are bounded by Norham Gardens to the north, Parks Road to the west and the Science Area on South Parks Road to the south.
Walter Sawyer has been superintendent of the Parks since 1991.
Points of interest
The following features of the Parks are of special interest:
- Cricket pavilion — the pavilion was designed by Sir Thomas Jackson (who also designed the University's Examination Schools) and was completed in 1881.
- The only first-class cricket ground in the UK where spectators can watch free of charge.
- Seven large giant sequoias planted in about 1888.
- A duck pond with water lilies and a small island, constructed in 1925.
- High Bridge, built in 1923–24 as a relief project for the unemployed. It is usually called Rainbow Bridge, because of its shape.
- Genetic Garden — an experimental garden established by Professor Cyril Darlington to demonstrate evolutionary processes.
- Styphnolobium japonicum, known as the Japanese Pagoda Tree. Planted in 1888.
- Coronation Clump, a clump of trees planted to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
- Parson's Pleasure
- Dame's Delight
- Norham Manor estate
- Fenner's, where first-class cricket is played in Cambridge
- "Superintendents, 1866 - Present Day". The University Parks, Oxford. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- Oxford University Parks website
- Cricket in the Parks website (home of Oxford CC and Oxford UCCE)
- View of University Park Looking Towards New College, Oxford by William Turner (1789–1862) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City