Last month in Ellington Park there was a focus on landscape design, in particular reviewing the planting schemes planned for the park’s regeneration project, which take into consideration the results of a consultation on public use and the historic designs.
The area of known as Ellington – between St Lawrence and Ramsgate – is on record from the 13th century and was associated with the name of the landowners, Adrian and John de ‘Ellington. The Ellington Estate, which included an orchard, kitchen gardens and a grand house, remained in private ownership until the 1890’s*. When the land was purchased by the Ramsgate Corporation (now Thanet District Council) it was made into a public park.
Landscape architects, Joseph Cheal & Sons, were awarded the tender to redesign the park for public use and it was completed between 1893 and 1894. A review of the design was published in the widely circulated horticultural periodical, The Gardeners’ Chronicle;
“The grounds already being of a picturesque and ornamental nature, the plan generally embraces the adaptation of the park to the public requirements” The Gardeners’ Chronicle – 4 March 1893.
Current regeneration plans include maximising the remaining heritage features of the bandstand and formal gardens, creating an axis from the terrace and bandstand, as well as utilising the original Cheal planting schemes. (See arrangement and planting plans) Over 30 new trees and hundreds of new shrubs will be planted as part of the scheme, reflecting Cheal’s original design.
To preserve and enhance the history of the park Thanet District Council and the Friends of Ellington Park are working behind the scenes to finalise design and issue tender documents, with a robust procurement process we will ensure best value for money for public funds, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund support of £1.8m. Works are scheduled to start in the park at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020.
*See OS map of Ellington Estate in 1872