Central Pitch & Pathways

What used to be here?

The Central Pitch was bounded on west, north, and east sides by asphalt pathways with benches and bins.

What’s here now?

The Central Pitch has been retained, with a small reduction to accommodate a new asphalt pathway running across its south side. Worn‑out benches have been replaced with new ones, and bins have replaced. The west, north, and east pathways have been resurfaced with bonded gravel, and distance markers have been added for runners and joggers.
 
 

Scenic Walkway and North‑East & North‑West Entrances

WHAT USED TO BE HERE?

A twin‑gated ramped vehicular entrance to the north‑west and a grass bank across the north of the park, upon which in 2008 FoSJP had created a Local Floral Nature Reserve of wild flowers.

WHAT’S HERE NOW?

The North-West Entrance has been retained; it now uses the gate that was previously at the original Winchester Road entrance, disused since the early 1980s; the old gate has been replaced with new sections of railing, retaining the original gate posts as an historical marker.
 
 

Park Perimeter & Southern Entrances

What used to be here?
The Park was enclosed by original Edwardian railings, with two entrances in addition to the North‑West Entrance described above:

The West (Wordsworth Road) Entrance, with double gates and a set of brick steps leading up from the Central Pitch;
The South (Church Street) Entrance, which had no gates and had one gatepost missing.
 
 

ParkLife Building

What used to be here?
An Air Raid Precaution (ARP) building dating from World War II, surrounded by asphalt. The building was formed of two halves, with large concrete slabs for floor and ceiling. There was an externally accessible disabled toilet, re‑opened in 2006 after successful campaigning by FoSJP.

FoSJP had established a kiosk in this building to serve drinks and light refreshments, which operated from August 2006 until September 2010.
 
 

Young Play Area

What used to be here?
The Young Play Area is located on the site of the old Children’s Playground and what used to the Rose Garden, except for the area of the Rose Garden that is now part of the Botanical Walk.

What’s here now?
The Young Play Area is enclosed in dog‑proof fencing, and comprises two parts.

The southern part has 4 benches, 2 litter bins, and a range of play features:
 
 

Gazebo

What used to be here?
The Gazebo is located in what used to be the empty north‑east corner of the old Rose Garden.

What’s here now?
The Gazebo is located at the north end of the Botanical Walk, where it opens out onto the Central Pitch’s south pathway. Constructed of galvanized steel, it rests upon two arcs of concrete ring beam with a polished seating surface, and supports 12 panels of photovoltaic cells which provide electricity that’s taken back to the ParkLife Building. Underneath the Gazebo is a central design with the lyrics from the chorus of “Parklife” by Blur.
 
 

Botanical Walk

What used to be here?

The new Botanical Walk runs up what used to be the eastern side of the old Rose Garden, bounded by a yew hedge to the east.

Sadly, during the restoration and improvement works it was discovered that three of the mature flowering cherry trees, which we’d hoped to keep, were suffering from terminal fungal diseases; these had to be removed, but a total of 19 new cherry trees were planted.
 
 

Tennis Courts

What used to be here?
There used to be a flat grass area to the north of the building.

What’s here now?
There are now two modern asphalt tennis courts, in two‑tone green, fully fenced in.

Why was it designed this way?
The original tennis courts were popular, despite their poor quality. Grass courts are very expensive to maintain and it’s difficult to keep a consistent bounce, so a modern asphalt surface was selected.