Fun Day marks a historic chapter in the rebirth of popular town park
Event is held to celebrate Worth Park Development
22nd July 2015 – Crawley Observer
Worth Park was a picture of Victorian times on Sunday (July 19) as families came to celebrate a milestone in the multi-million pound restoration project there.
The five-year programme to restore the park and gardens in Pound Hill to their former glory is ongoing.
The fun day marked the switching on the Pulham Fountain for first time in decades. The work is funded by £2.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund.
The gardens and park were once only used for private use as part of the grounds of Worth Park Estate.
Crawley Mayor Cllr Chris Cheshire, who switched on the fountain, said: “It was 137 years when they first switched on the fountain for 1,000 guests.
“Now it’s been restored with the gardens for the pleasure of everybody in Crawley.
“Nobody really knew how beautiful it was and specialist restoration experts in horticulture and architecture have done everything to replace all that was there.
“It was a great privilege to do it on behalf of Crawley.”
Stuart Mcleod, head of HLF South East, said: “We’re delighted to celebrate the opening of this beautiful park, which has been made possible not only by the investment of National Lottery players’ money but also the hard work and passion of staff, volunteers and the local community.
“This project, and indeed this celebration even to offers a fascinating insight into Crawley’s natural and Victorian heritage. We’re proud to play a funding role.”
History of Worth Park
Worth Park, formerly known as Milton Mount Gardens, covers eight hectares and once formed part of the Forest of Worth.
The estate was bought by Sir Joseph Montefiore in 1850 and the house and garden were later remodelled by his son Francis Abraham Montefiore.
The park was turned into a late Victorian pleasure garden and landscape, constructed by James Pulham and Son who also designed features for Buckingham Palace and Sandringham House gardens.
In 1915 the estate was broken up and sold. The house and gardens were bought by a Gravesend Boarding school in 1920 and became known as Milton Mount College.
In 1963 Crawley Borough Council took ownership of the house and gardens. The house was subsequently demolished and the flats which exist today were built, but the gardens and fountain became neglected.
The Camelia Walk and formal gardens at Worth Park