The Re-opening Of Northumberland Park In North Shields
Published: Thursday 24th Sep 2015
Written by: The Grace Darling Holidays Team
If you are visiting the North-east County of Northumberland, then it is worth making a journey to spend some time in Northumberland Park located in North Shields, which is a town historically part of Northumberland and located 8 miles to the east of Newcastle upon Tyne.
There are a number of luxury holiday cottages available for booking in the area provided by Grace Darling Holidays that will ensure a great base in the region if you wish to explore this park and the history of the surrounding areas.
Northumberland Park was closed in 2009 by the North Tyneside Council after they received a £2.2 million grant to restore the parks historical features and extend an archaeological project that discovered the entire outline of a chapel that originated as part of the 13th century medieval St. Leonard’s hospital. The grant allowed further work on this site to continue.
Other restoration work on lost historical features in the park has included cast iron railings, park furniture, fountains, planting schemes and the installation of a new park pavilion.
The 130-year-old Northumberland Park has recently re-opened its gates to the public after 6 years of hard work and has a number of new features added.
The original Stone Lions of the park vanished years ago but the restoration has seen replacement lions being installed. These new lions were hand carved using a traditional mallet, hammer and chisels at a local masonry firm. This masonry firm also replaced defective stone pillars and coping stones around the parks boundary walls, fitted balustrading to the upper formal garden and they also rebuilt stone walls and replicated the plinth of the original bandstand.
The park re-opened in August with a day of public entertainment and events in the park and the Duchess of Northumberland attended a ceremony there on the 11th August to celebrate the parks 130th anniversary.
When the park was opened in 1885, the Duke of Northumberland planted a tree there to symbolise the launch of the park and the Duchess of Northumberland has carried on this tree planting tradition.
The centrepiece for the restoration of Northumberland Park is The Glasshouse Team and visitor centre, with educational facilities, toilets and a café. This overlooks the park lakes where a fountain and water circulation system has been installed.
Live music events take place in the replicated bandstand on the last Sunday of every month and a sculpture trail, with doorways set into tree trunks left from poor quality trees has been created enabling fun for all the family.
New park furniture has been installed including traditional-styled seating and dedicated park staff patrols the grounds to increase visitors’ sense of security.
A herb garden has been planted which would have been essential for the medieval hospital that has been discovered on the archaeological site and as well as 80 medieval burials also being found, the park is also now home to a pets’ cemetery which includes the graves of 2 dogs commemorated for their wartime service.
The Mayor of North Tyneside has said “Northumberland Park is looking absolutely lovely and we’re really looking forward to celebrating the project with residents and visitors”.