This is a pocket park near Old Street that started off as gardens, became a car park, and is once again gardens.
It showed up as allotments in the 1700s, as the area around it developed, but was itself developed into terraced housing by the mid-1800s, with Ironmonger Street running through the middle.
Although minimally affected by WWII, the area was cleared in the 1950s to sweep away the terraced houses for the Pleydell Estate, and the site was used as a car park between the 1960s-70s. It was in the late 1970s that the car park was finally landscaped. The site initially was occupied by the Adventure Playground, before becoming a public park.
The park was revamped in 2008 to solve a number of problems that had built up over the decades, particularly with regard to visibility and safety for the local residents.
As it sits next to other open spaces, but was sealed off from them, they opened up the park as part of a chain of green spaces in the area. Some privacy screening mounds that had been piled up when the park was created and turned out to offer the wrong sort of privacy were cleared, and the soil used to landscape the rest of the park.
One deep depression was retained with a canopy of trees and a swing to relax in, alongside a play area that was retained, and a climbing frame.
It’s an interesting park with a mix of architectural elements showing that some thought has gone into the design.
The park benches with their twisted metal strips as backs are certainly more distinctive than the generic park benches that can be bought from a park supplies centre. Around the side of the park is a slightly baren looking tarmac area, but again with interesting seating in the reuse of old stone beams.
The park is now surrounded by a hedge to shield it from the roads outside and the hedges are also used to break up the space a bit into smaller zones each with a slightly different character.