Birkenhead Park


Prologue

 

 

Parks and gardens are perhaps not the first thing one would choose to associate with Birkenhead. Instead, this town near the Mersey Estuary would more commonly be associated with the heavy industry of the industrial revolution and beyond. This said, Birkenhead is home to one of the most pioneering examples of park design of its time, nurturing ideas of recreation and leisure within the park.

The designer of the park, Joseph Paxton, is much better known for his work at the Crystal Palace. Fredrick Law Olmstead, the American landscape designer, visited Birkenhead Park in 1850 and it is recorded that he felt the park was of exceptional quality. He was so impressed by the design and layout of the Birkenhead Park that he incorporated many of its key design features into his own design for Central Park in New York.

Notable features of the Park include the Grand Entrance, designed by Lewis Hornblower, and the picturesque rockery. The rockery’s rugged appearance contrasts dramatically with the much more ordered appearance of the rest of the Park.