Royal Victoria Park, Bath
|Royal Victoria Park|
The park overlooked by the Royal Crescent
|Area||57 acres (23 ha)|
|Operated by||Bath and North East Somerset Council|
|Status||Open all year|
Royal Victoria Park is located in Bath, England. It was opened in 1830 by the 11-year-old Princess Victoria seven years before her ascension to the throne and was the first park to carry her name, with an obelisk dedicated to her. It was privately run as part of the Victorian public park movement until 1921 when it was taken over by the Bath Corporation.
The park is overlooked by the Royal Crescent and consists of 57 acres (231,000 m²) with attractions that include a skateboard ramp, tennis, bowling and putting green and 12 and 18 hole golf course, open-air concerts, a large children's play area and a 9-acre (36,000 m²) botanical garden. Seasonal attractions include carnival fairs and hosted events.
It has received a Green Flag award, the national standard for parks and green spaces in England and Wales and is Grade I registered by Historic England on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
The Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens were formed in the north-west area of the park in 1887. It contain one of the finest collections of plants on limestone in the West country. The replica of a Roman Temple in the gardens was used at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924.
Royal Victoria Park is known for hosting events, such as Vintage FunFair, a carnival with hot-air balloons and rides. Popular annual festivals include The Bank Festival and The Children's Festival for May Bank holiday weekend.
Other titular events include winter ice-skating rink Bath On Ice, as well as Movie by Moonlight, Glow In the Dark Mini Golf, Bath Thai Festival, Bath Easter Fun Fair, Pub In The Park and Bath Race for Life.
To the north of the Botanical Gardens is the Great Dell, a sunken wooded area alongside Weston Road. It is a former stone quarry planted out in the 1840s with a collection of unusual trees, including some large North American conifers.
In 2007 a programme of reconstruction and restoration was undertaken by Bath and North East Somerset Council and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This included the renovation of two Medici lion statues on plinths each side of the Queen’s Gate entrance to the park, replacing the original iron armatures inside the limbs, returning them to their bronze colour, and giving each a gilt ball under its front paw. Further work will add two 8 feet (2.4 m) cast iron replicas of the original lanterns and the replacement of the decorative iron gates to the three main entrances to the park. The original gates were removed, along with all the railings around the park, as part of a Second World War national scrap metal campaign.
Further works involved the reinstatement of over a mile of perimeter railings, the restoration of the bandstand, the reforming of three sets of park gates, work to the Royal Crescent Ha-ha, and the extension of the Temple of Minerva to form a small interpretation centre. These works coincided with significant works to the planting throughout the park.
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- Royal Victoria Park, Bath and North East Somerset Council