Postcard of Princes Park, early 1900s
A postcard of a snow covered Princes Park. 1910
Postcard of Princes Park early 1900s
Princes Park was the concept of Richard Vaughan Yates (1785-1856) a member
of a prominent Liverpool family who commissioned Joseph Paxton (1803-1865),
head gardener to the Duke of Devonshire at the time, to design and ‘lay
out’ the new park.
Yates bought 90 acres of land from the Earl of Sefton, 50 acres of which were
to form the central park. His idea was to use the remaining land to build
exclusive housing which would help finance the park.
The original plans showed for the provision of 10 or more terraces but only
Princes Park Mansions, the longest and 3 to 4 shorter ones were built. Individual
villas replaced the other unbuilt terraces. These properties had the added
attraction of rear gardens leading into the park site. The central area, including
the lake, was for the exclusive use of the residents who possessed keys to
gain access. The general public were not allowed in this area so making it
a ‘private’ park. The park was opened in 1843 but it was not until
1918, after much financial wrangling and dispute that it passed into the hands
of the City Council and became open to all.
The Park Today
Although some of the original features have unfortunately been lost, the impressive
‘sunburst gates’, designed by Sir James Pennethorne, and a monument
of red polished granite to Richard Vaughan Yates erected in 1858, can still
be seen. The park features a lake and children’s play area. Princes
Park is included on the English Heritage Register as a Grade II* park.