Wicksteed Park plans get green light from GT

Repton Family Picnic

Wicksteed Park plans to reinstate a fountain and rose garden have got the green light from the Gardens Trust. We were consulted about this planning application as part of our statutory role, because the garden is included by Historic England on their Register of Parks & Gardens. The final decision rests with the local planning authority.

Great care has been taken in the proposals to reinstate the historic heart of the Park. The rose garden and fountain will again reflect their glory in the 1920s and 1930s. From the rose garden, you can see Barton Hall, which is a landscape that featured in one of Humphry Repton’s Red Books. It is therefore fitting that the proposed new rose garden, complete with trellis rose towers, closely resembles Repton’s style.

Wicksteed Park, in Barton Seagrave near Kettering, was founded by businessman Charles Wicksteed. When it opened in 1921 it was the first amusement park in the UK, and Wicksteed described it as “the place where fun was invented”. We liaised with the Northamptonshire Gardens Trust, who have followed the development of these proposals for some time.  They have worked in partnership with the Wicksteed Park Trust on the Sharing Repton Heritage Lottery Fund project. The Trust’s support and enthusiasm for this successful audience development work has been invaluable.

The landscape at Wicksteed Park has evolved to serve public enjoyment and education, while understanding the delicate balance between ecology and people. There is an excellent new Learning Space in a landscaped hub of original single storey buildings.  These latest proposals will increase the importance of Wicksteed Park and give great enjoyment to all who visit.  The Gardens Trust is happy to support this application and hopes that the local planning authority will agree.

Find out more about Northamptonshire Gardens Trust

Read the description of Wicksteed Park on the Historic England Register of Parks & Gardens

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Painswick Roccoco Gardens, the Red House, Photo © Joab Smith