Leazes Park can claim to be the first purpose-built public park on Tyneside and was opened on December the 23rd 1873.
Alderman Gregson went on record in the Council Chamber that “of all public improvements this would give more satisfaction than anything the Corporation had ever done (hear, hear) and great credit was due to our illustrious fellow-townsman Councillor C. F. Hamond”.
After 131 years of use the Heritage Lottery Funded restoration has re-awakened Councillor Hamond‘s dream and Leazes Park looks forward to giving pleasure to another five generations of Geordies.
Constructed in 1879 the terrace was a place for the Victorians to promenade in their finery. A year later the statuary and vases were added. The Acanthus leaved urns and status were made of concrete, a rediscovered and exciting material which could be cast into complex shapes. The vases have been copied from the one surviving original and the statues faithfully recreated from old photographs.
Completely rebuilt the terrace is now an excellent area from on which to hold events and activities and of course, to promenade in ones ‘Sunday Best’.
1875 saw the ordering of a bandstand from George Smith and Hay of Glasgow. Much used for musical events until as recently as 1959. It was demolished in the early 1960’s and and its remains buried behind the Western Lodge.
Catalogues of the time, photographs and a bandstand known to be the same were studied by Heritage Engineering in order to exactly recreate the bandstand.
Acquired in 1884, this piece of land offered exciting opportunities for creative landscaping and in 1892 a second lake was created. Many ice-skating events were held here and an over the top ornamental electric light erected in the centre to illuminate the events. In the 1930’s the lake was drained and tennis courts constructed. Being on the lake bed there have been occasions when the courts have become a lake again but the restoration has improved the drainage, refurbished the courts and with the help of Walbottle Campus School introduced a maze.