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Title: The municipal park : design and development, circa 1840-1880
Author: Conway, H.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3561 5695
Awarding Body: Leicester Polytechnic
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 1985
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The aim of this study is to identify the main factors contributing to the development of the municipal park in England, and to relate them to park design and use. Official recognition of the need for parks dated from 1833 and focussed on the needs of the working classes in the largest urban centres. An analysis of park development established the various forms of public park, the main modes of park acquisition and their geographical distribution. In the period between 1845 and 1860 parks were developed mainly in the industrial centres of the north-west. Subsequently, this broadened to include resorts and smaller towns. Manchester was the first of the industrial centres to establish municipal parks. Other important early parks were established in Birkenhead and London (Victoria Park). The processes whereby these parks were established, and their design and use, illustrated the preferences of those in authority and showed that parka were seen not only in physical terms but also in social and political terms. The ways in which the "problem" of working class recreation was identified affected parks. They provided an alternative to the public house, and had an educational role to play. The type of meeting permitted, the choice of sports, and of music, showed clearly that parks were seen as places where the classes could mix, but on middle and ruling class terms. After the passing of the Public Health Act 1875 a major acceleration in park development occurred. At the same time there was a growing awareness that the existing large parks did not solve the problem of access to open space for the densest urban areas. The 1880s saw the development of small recreation grounds in working class districts and the transformation of disused burial grounds into open space for recreation. This indicated that a major change in public opinion regarding the need for accessible open space had occurred. The municipal park provided enormous enjoyment, and it was brought into.. being by a variety of means in which municipal enterprise, politics and social conscience all played a part
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History