Sefton (public)Park Liverpool
This 269 acre beautiful park set in my birth place, Liverpool, where I used to often play as a child was (and maybe still is),classed as one of the most beautiful public parks in Europe.
The history of the land dating back to the days of King John,where he used it for hunting.( In fact remnants of King John's hunting lodge still remains).The whole area was a 2000acre Royal Deer Park.After the park formaly ceased being used as such in 1592,king John sold it to Lord Derby,where he decided to let local people use the land for farming and growing produce.
After twelve years Lord Derby sold the land to Sir Richard Molyneux Not long after he decided to let the Puritan disidents to settle on his estate.
Much later in 1867,Liverpool Corporation bought 375 acres of land fom the Molyneaux family (who were the Earls of Sefton),where the new park was named after Lord Sefton .
During this period Liverpool Corporation,had a programme to create public parks around the City, so they held a competition for a design for Sefton Park.Two gentlemen ,-Edouard Andre' (gardener in chief to the city of Paris ,and gardener to Napoleon 3rd) ,and his partner Lewis Hornblower ( a Liverpool architect)won 300 guineas for their design of Sefton Park ,their innovative design included a rIvulet enhanced with rugged granite rocks,grottoes,stepping stones all meandering to a beautiful 7 acre lake. In fact its very possibe George Harrison of the Beatles used his memories of some of the design features of Sefton Park,(ie -the grottoes) ,for some of his wonderful features he incorporated into his estate at Friar Park in Henley-On -Thames, Oxfordshire..
The winning design also featured small areas of woodland. The cleverly designed park incorporated interesting pathways which had a geometric aspect to them ,cleverly enhancing the grand open space. Amongst many interesting features in the park where ,folleys,boat houses,includes a bandstand-(reputedly this bandstand was the inspiration for the Beatles famous Sergent Pepper's lonely heartclub's band,-on their great and famous Sergent Pepper's album).
The grand opening of the park in 1872, was full of celebration,horse parades,music and colour,with crowds of people attending from all over the country These are the days when the local authorities realised the importance of public parks for public recreation and good healthy, lungs of the city (ies) ,,where many full-time park-keepers were employed as indeed a full-teams of 'hands on '-gardeners.
Another Important main feature of Sefton Park is the 'Palm House'-a large geometric glass conservatory,which house many varieties /species of plants from around the world.
This classic beautiful structure was designed and built by a firm based in Edinboro'-Mackenzie+Moncur ,with money(£10,000),donated by a local gentelman- Henry Yates Thompson. It was built based on the traditional classical style of the famous designer Joseph Paxman,who was specifically famous for his glass house designs around the UK.This beautiful eight -sided glass-house was opened in 1896,creating yet another beautiful aspect to this most important and beautiful park. Inside the Palm house originally were 9 sculptures- and a marble bench. Another historical sculpture (grade 2,listed) inside was a replica of the sculpture of Peter Pan,which was one of the last works of sculptor, Sir George Frampton. The original of which was given as a gift to Kensington gardens in London
The unvailing of the Peter Pan statue.at the Palm House was attended by the author of Peter Pan Novel-J M Barrie . Externally the Palm House was surrounded by 9 sculptures of famous naturalists and explorers ,by the sculptor-Chavaillaud (1858-1921). These sculptures /statues were made of bronze and marble and gave to the Palm House an amazing added classical aspect..