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War Memorial Park
The war memorial monument (built 1927)
Type Public park
Location Coventry, England.
52°23′24″N 1°31′23″W / 52.390132°N 1.523113°W / 52.390132; -1.523113
Size 48.5 hectares
Opened July 1921
Operated by Coventry City Council
Status Open all year

The War Memorial Park is a large park of about 48.5 hectares situated in southern Coventry.[1] The park was opened in July 1921 as a tribute to the 2,587 Coventrians who died between 1914 and 1918 fighting in the First World War.[2] Coventry Council bought the land from the Lords of Styvechale Manor, the Gregory-Hood family, when it was little more than a large grassed area that once formed Styvechale common.[3]

The landscaped gardens and sports areas were originally created in the late-1920s and 1930s,[3] and the most prominent construction in the park is the Coventry war memorial monument, built in 1927.[2][4 ]

The park's features include football pitches, bowling greens, a small golf course, tennis courts, a paddling pool, an aviary for small birds, and a skate board area, but it mainly comprises large open green areas with many trees and shrubberies. A perimeter path lies just inside the park's boundaries, and now encircles the entire park following completion of groundwork on the south-western segment in the Summer of 2006. Visitors may park their cars in the park's main car park, which is also used by visitors to Coventry City Centre who use the park and ride scheme.

The park is the venue for a number of annual events including the Godiva Festival and the Donkey Derby, but after bad weather in the summer of 2007, the Donkey Derby was held at Hearsall Common, Earlsdon.[5]

Contents

History

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Land

The park was opened in July 1921 as a tribute to the 2,587 Coventrians who died between 1914 and 1918 fighting in the First World War.[2] Coventry Council bought the land from the Lords of Styvechale Manor, the Gregory-Hood family, when it was little more than a large grassed area that once formed Styvechale common.[3] In the north of the park, the landscaped gardens and sports areas were originally created in the late-1920s and 1930s,[3]

During World War II, barrage balloons and anti-aircraft guns were sited in the park, and the large concrete blocks where they were positioned still exist at the coat of arms bridge area of the park.[3]

Monument

At around 90 feet (27 m) high,[3] the war memorial monument is the most prominent construction in the park. It was designed by local architect T. F. Tinker and £5,000 was raised from a public appeal that commenced in 1924 to fund the building work.[6] It was built in 1927 and dedicated by Field Marshall Douglas Haig on 8 October 1927.[2][4 ] It is made of Portland stone, and was built by John Gray who also built the Courtaulds works at Foleshill and a number of housing estates. Inside the Memorial is a room called the Chamber of Silence which contains the "Roll of the Fallen", a list of all Coventry men killed in the two World Wars and the Gulf War, and is open to the public every year on Remembrance Sunday.[3]

Car parks

The main car park is a large tarmaced area with access from Kenilworth Road. Travel de Courcey (in conjunction with Coventry City Council and Centro PTE) operates a Park and ride scheme between this car park and Coventry city centre. There is also a much smaller car park on Coat of Arms Bridge Road on the southern side of the park and another small car park near the northern end of Leamington Road.

References

  1. ^ AA Street by Street. Coventry Rugby (2nd edition (May 2003) ed.). AA Publishing. pp. 38–39. ISBN 0749539739.  
  2. ^ a b c d Douglas, Alton (February 1991). Coventry: A Century of News. Coventry Evening Telegraph. p. 33. ISBN 0902464361.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Coventry City Council: History of the War Memorial Park Retrieved 4 October 2008
  4. ^ a b "Remembering those who perished". icCoventry.co.uk. 2007-10-08. http://iccoventry.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100localnews/tm_headline=remembering-those-who-perished&method=full&objectid=19915482&siteid=50003-name_page.html. Retrieved 2007-10-10.  
  5. ^ "Donkey Derby moves to Hearsall Common". Coventry City Council. 2 August 2007. http://www.coventry.gov.uk/ccm/content/chief-executives-directorate/corporate-policy/communications-team/news-releases-2007/donkey-derby-moves-to-hearsall-common.en;jsessionid=aw1de8Fq3rG6. Retrieved 2007-10-01.  
  6. ^ McGrory, David. The illustrated history of Coventry's suburbs. Breedon Books. p. 114. ISBN 1859833438.  

External links


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