Five year restoration of Worth Park to be finished next month with wooden sculpture
29th August 2016 – Crawley News
By Dave Comeau
The five year project to restore Worth Park to its Victorian glory will be completed next month with the installation of a sculpture.
A masterplan for the restoration of the Victorian pleasure gardens and wider park area, off Milton Mount Avenue in Pound Hill, was first put together in 2011 and work began about two years later.
It has included restoring the fountain to working order, restoring the lake and woodland, repairing and restoring the rockery, circular flower beds and Italian terrace, and creating new paths.
In addition, Ridley’s Court – the former gatehouse to the park – has been renovated and turned into a visitor centre, a new park entrance was created and new lighting installed.
The project cost £3.3 million, with Crawley Borough Council contributing £975,000 and the rest coming from National Lottery grants.
There have been a few unforeseen problems over the course of the last three years, including a bee hive being found at Ridley’s Court, the grass in the park’s meadow needing to be re-sown due to a dry summer, and repairs to the Victorian fountain being put on hold when the contractor carrying out the work went into administration.
The final phase will be completed next month when a wooden sculpture is created. The council has contracted chainsaw sculptor Simon Groves to craft an enduring piece of art that references the history and heritage of the park using the stump of a storm-damaged cedar tree.
The artwork will sit outside Ridley’s Court and feature the Montefiore crest, deer, owls, camellias, bees and a range of other wildlife. Mr Groves will initially be on site from 9am on the following days:
- 1-2 September
- 6-7 September
- 14-16 September
A further three days will be needed to complete the work, the dates for which will be confirmed at a later date.
The work itself will involve the use of a chainsaw, however every effort will be made to minimise disruption, with work starting after 9am and completed by 4pm each day.
During the works an area directly around the tree stump will be fenced off and the public toilets will be closed during this time. A cherry picker will be on site so the sculptor has access to the tree stump.
Cabinet Member for Wellbeing at Crawley Borough Council, Councillor Chris Mullins, said: “The sculpture will be a fantastic addition to Worth Park and a wonderful way to end the restoration process.
“The park has come a long way since we received the Heritage Lottery Fund grant and I am thrilled to have seen it restored to its former glory.”
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