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Tyne and Wear HER(7661): Low Fell, Albert Memorial Park - Details

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Low Fell, Albert Memorial Park

Low Fell


Gardens Parks and Urban Spaces


Public Park

Early Modern



This genteel, mature and generously sized private park, for the residents of Albert Drive, was created in honour of Prince Albert. It was laid out after much of the street had been developed, during 1904-5, and was clearly indicative of elevated aspirations for the development. Private parks for squares and crescents had been a popular feature of Georgian development, but had become less common as public parks emerged. The early part of the drive was planned in 1875, with attractive stone houses (also on the local list) facing west, with the favoured aspect towards the Ravensworth Estate. These were followed by the terrace to the south of the park, so that when the park was established the upper rooms of all the houses (including Myrtle Grove to the north) would have enjoyed an outlook over it. These houses were also constructed with attic rooms, so that the views would be maximised. It is uncertain whether the final layout was the original conception, but since the houses to the south were built so set back it would indicate that the park was planned at least when these were built. It is unusual in having survived all the development pressure over the years to remain a private park – an oasis of peace in a very densely built up area. When constructed, the park had a shelter towards the lower, western end, and the paths were apparently laid out in a geometric pattern with stone edging. The use of stone was continued through the design, with much rockery style planting, interspersed with, and encompassed by trees. The ironwork surrounding the park was presumably removed for the war effort, but 2 gates, with simplified fleur de lys style finials remain. These are apparently original, but now sit between lengths of modern timber palisading. Now the park has a more informal character – the paths have grassed over, and whilst some beds still contain pieces of stone, there are no full ‘rockery’ areas. The enclosing trees are now mature, so give shelter and a restful feeling, and the mature shrubs add a depth to the planting. Species include evergreens that can provide structure to the planting, including laurel, and some traditional privet is also present. The park will give a home to wildlife in the area, and despite its private nature, it offers a large and important contribution to open space, and a natural backdrop to development in the Low Fell Conservation Area. FUTURE RECOMMENDATIONS Further investigation into the original designs for the park could provide valuable insight, and possibly lead to the reinstatement of paths through the park. It could also be positive if consideration could be given to reinstating railings around the edge of the park. USES Private Park MATERIALS Wrought iron, sandstone SPECIES Various trees and shrubs including Privet and Laurel DATES 1904-5 LOCAL LIST




Gateshead Council Local List X20/LLG/01

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