Make the most of St Albans green spaces

October 3rd 2016
By: Melanie Hollidge
Make the most of St Albans green spaces

At this time of year when the equinox has passed and the days start to get a bit shorter it’s important to take every opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors of St Albans. The city has a range of great green spaces and Clarence Park, owned by St Albans City and District Council, can be found at the heart of St Albans on land situated between the mainline railway and Hatfield Road.

The story of Clarence Park spans back to 1892 when the land it sits on was owned by no less than 5 individuals who split it up into two halves. The larger of the two halves was owned by the Right Honourable Earl John Spencer, he conveyed his land to Sir John Blundell in 1892 for the sum of 1,381 Pounds, 17 Shillings and 6 pence. The second, smaller half was jointly owned by James Samuel Fearnley, Mary Susannah Fearnley, Eliza Sanders and Frederic Sanders. They also conveyed their land to Sir John Blundell in 1892 for the sum of 4,000 pounds. The park as a whole was laid out in early 1894, 16 acres went to municipal sports ground and a 9 acre public park and pleasure ground was created. The City Surveyor, Mr G Ford, designed the layout of the park.

Clarence Park still occupies the same area and, like the original park layout, it is still divided into two distinct parts. The formal park area includes a wide range of features from the original park including rose and flower beds, extensive tree and shrub planting, the Aberdeen granite drinking fountain and the park-keeper's lodge. Only the wood and heather thatched bandstand has been lost from the original park. The recreation ground too is still in extensive use and offers facilities for a wide range of sports such as, Cricket, Football, Tennis, Bowls and Hockey.