Paul Rabbitts    

Author, Parks Historian & Speaker


Parkitecture - Buildings and Monuments of Public Parks

With many visits to parks looking at bandstands in particular, I do come across many other features of beauty and rich in heritage. Such as? fountains, gates, lodges, bridges, memorials, clocks, sundials, aviaries, cafes, boat houses, railings, statues... even cannons.  

So I thought it would be great to add a page as there are some beautiful structures out there. Worth a book on this alone? Yes of course and here it is  

Congleton Park - this stunning Walter Macfarlane drinking fountain.

Walter Macfarlane as always leaves his mark

Beckenham Rec - Bromley, great gates and lodge is just superb. 

Bedford Park -  Bedford - gates dedicated from 1888

Bedford Park - lodge and gates. Lived in and loved. 

Embankment Gardens, Bedford - bridge architecture

Victoria Park, Ilkeston - this rather grand pergola 

Handsworth Park, Birmingham - a fabulous bandstand here but complemented by these lottery funded restored gates

Stanley Park, Blackpool, Thomas Mawson designed park with some stunning art deco/arts and crafts features within. Fountains, statues, clock tower, boating lake and cafe. 

Stanley Park

Great cafe or what

Lister Park, Bradford, another example of fine architecture

Lister Park 

Moghul Gardens and the cafe and new boathouse 

Queen's Park, Crewe, one of my favourite parks.

McDowall Steven shelter in Queen's Park

Victoria Park, Denton on Tameside

Borough Gardens

Dorchester, one of the finest clocks in any public park

Fountain and bandstand plinth

People's Park, Halifax, and the infamous statues on the upper terrace. 

Paxton's finest park, People's Park. The sundial the same as found in Albert Park, Middlesbrough

People's Park, bridge, fountain and bandstand.  

Valley Gardens, Harrogate, one of the finest cafes in a park

Beaumont Park, Huddersfield, what a great lodge, and a lion sat watching as you walk by. 

Greenhead Park, Huddersfield, packed with historic features and buildings, one of the finest parks in the country. 

Conservatory a fabulous functional space today. Fountain flying high.

The impact of benefactors and philanthropy cannot be under-estimated here. Drinking fountains 

Hyde Park, Tameside, a great use of stone in this fountain and ionic columns.

Ventnor Park, Isle of Wight. Stunning park lodge.

The Walks, Kings Lynn

The Walks

Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa 

Yet another park packed full of history and our heritage

Fountain in Jephson Gardens and opposite in the Pump Room Gardens, the new arches in place 

Roundhay Park, Leeds, shelters rather than bandstands

The Arboretum in Lincoln

Mazes and fountains 

Newsham Park in Liverpool 

Sefton Park, Palmhouse, Liverpool, 

restored and resplendent

Inside the palmhouse

2 of the many statues surrounding the Palmhouse

Stanley Park, Liverpool, Gladstone Pavilion and bandstand restored

Battersea Park, London

Festival Gardens, Battersea Park, London

Myatt's Fields, London

West Ham Park, London

Eaton Park, Norwich, Bandstand, colonnades and Model Yacht Club house

Sheffield Botanical Gardens and the Paxton Pavilions

The Richard Eve Monument, Brinton Park, Kidderminster, with bandstand behind it. 


Bridge End Gardens

Saffron Walden

Dutch Garden, Bridge End Gardens 

Alexandra Park, Oldham, The Lion's Den 

Chinese Pavilion

Alexandra Park,


Boathouse and cafe, Alexandra Park

Wardown Park, Luton, Daisy Chain Walk 

- Photo Dr. Stewart Harding

Fulham Palace, London, Gates and Lodge

Photo Dr. Stewart Harding

Linslade, The Park, Leighton Buzzard

Public Park, Barrow, Cumbria

Mowbray Gardens, Sunderland

Corporation Park, Blackburn

Birkenhead Park, Wirral, Merseyside

Main entrance and Swiss Bridge

Birkenhead Park, Boat house 

The Lodge, Heaton Park, Manchester

Paisley Park, Nr Glasgow. Stunning restoration by Lost Art

Crystal Palace Park, London, the iconic dinosaurs

Waterlow Park, London, and the statue to the benefactor, Sydney Waterlow

Crystal Palace Park, and the tribute to Sir Joseph Paxton

Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, one of my favourite parks and beautifully restored.

Vivary Park, Taunton, gates and fountain restored 

Victoria Park, London and the Burdett Coutts Fountain, one of the finest features in any park anywhere

The Albert Memorial, Hyde Park, London

Palfrey Park, Walsall, a lovely introduction to a very pleasant park

Town Centre Gardens, Redditch

Albert Park, Middlesbrough

Albert Park, Middlesbrough, central fountain

Forbury Gardens, Reading and the Maiwand Lion - stunning

Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells and the Pulhamite Fountain. 

Bushey Rose Garden, Bushey in Hertfordshire, a great restoration of this gorgeous garden

Saltwell Park, Gateshead, a rustic shelter in one of our greatest parks

Hackworth Park, Shildon, a Hill & Smith drinking fountain

Remains of The Pilgrimage of Life Fountain in Kennington Park, London, by George Tinworth. 1872. A sign in the park explains: “This was once a large ornamental fountain that stood in a panelled garden close to today's park playground. The pillar was covered with a bas relief decoration and supported a fountain bowl, slimmer column, and a sculpture, The Pilgrimage of Life. The creation of George Tinworth, the resident sculptor at Doulton's Lambeth factory, the sculpture showed a man carrying a cross with a women and child. The fountain was erected in 1872 and damaged irreparably during the blitz; the sculpture survived until 1981

Kennington Park - The Sexby Gardens and pergola walkway

Kennington Park - Cafe and its open too

Victoria "Bitts" Park in Carlisle and the dominating statue of Queen Victoria 

Burslem Park, Stoke on Trent, bandstand and pavilion

Main entrance to Burslem Park, Stoke on Trent and the terracotta fountains.

Parker's Piece, Cambridge, Sun Foundry lighting column

Parker's Piece, Cambridge

Clarence Park, St. Albans, Aberdeen granite drinking fountain

Cricket Pavilion, Clarence Park, St Albans

Danson Park in the LB Bexley, with these rather grand gates. 

Town Park, LB Enfield, gates and fountain and the odd plaque telling a story 

Gunnersbury Park, LB Ealing and a wonderful gate detail at its main entrance

Gunnersbury Park, temple within the grounds 

Gunnersbury House and Museum, its future is??

Stewart Park, Middlesbrough, a well considered restoration of the former Marton Hall's Stable Block 

Victoria Park, LB Tower Hamlets

Victoria Park, Burdett Coutts Fountain, Tower Hamlets

Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, a place for repose, once pedestrian refuges  from the old London Bridge (demolished 1831) and erected in Victoria Park in 1860

Caldecott Park, Rugby, main gates. 

Caldecott Park, Rugby

St Annes on Sea - a beautiful Macfarlane shelter by the sea. 

St Anne's on Sea - a Walter Macfarlane fountain

St Anne's on Sea -  and a shelter by McDowall Steven and Co. 

Ropner Park, Stockton on Tees

Lurgan Park, Fountain

Bute Park, Cardiff

Corporation Park, Blackburn, a conservatory needing some TLC but still incredibly imposing

The Doulton Fountain, Glasgow Green

Glasgow Green - Winter Gardens ......           ......     and drying Greens 

Forbury Gardens, Reading, green with a touch of red

Forbury Gardens, Reading

Queen's Park, Loughborough, Carillon Tower 

Queen's Park, Loughborough

Abbey Park, Leicester, a rather alarmed looking Cardinal Wolsey

Abbey Park, Leicester, a wonderful pavilion and cafe today 

Abbey Park, Leicester

Abbey Park, main entrance 

Victoria Park, Leicester, War Memorial

Locke Park, Barnsley

Manor Park War Memorial, Sutton 

Gladstone Pavilion, Stanley Park, Liverpool

Royal Victoria Park, Bath

Clissold House, Hackney

Queen's Park, Longton, Stoke on Trent, and this unusual waymarker post. Detail shining through the layers of paintwork 

Clock tower, Queen's Park

Stoke on Trent 

Albion Square, in the London Borough of Hackney. A quaint but well maintained Park Keepers hut in this lovely Georgian Square.

Entrance to The Cedars in Harrow - a rather sad entrance to what appears to be a neglected park. 

Victoria Gardens, London opposite the Houses of Parliament and this rather stunning drinking fountain

St Johns Square, London, delightful square and fountain

Alexandra Gardens, Windsor and the Dyson Drinking Fountain

Moor Park, Preston, and a new seat reproduced by the legends at Lost Art

Haslam Park, Preston. Discovered on my recent trip north doing some Green Flag judging. A Macfarlane fountain and no longer working but simply exquisite.

Walkden Gardens, Sale, Trafford and a real surprise in this Green Flag award winning open space

Castle Park, Penrith and this ornate South African War Memorial. A number of these are dotted around in parks including a much simpler obelisk in Albert Park, Middlesbrough. 

Grange over Sands, Cumbria and the JA Law bandstand, relocated to these gardens after spending years by the former railway line to Barrow in Furness. Apparently the soot from steam trains was making Edwardian ladies dresses rather dirty. 

Lincoln Arboretum - a classic shelter in Edward Milner's arboretum.