Keys to the Past

Wharton Park, Durham (Durham City)

In July 1858, William Wharton, gifted land from the southern part of his Dryburn estate, to the City of Durham, for use as a public park. The site was initially known as The People's Park and development of its facilities was funded by Wharton. He spent £3000 on the construction of the park and provided £100 per year for the land's upkeep until his death in 1867. The initial layout of the park included paths and terraces, a bandstand and a viewing platform/folly known as The Battery (H351179). In 1923 a statue of Neptune (H35388), formerly in the Market Place, was moved to the park. The park remained much as originally designed until the inter-war period of the 20th century when extensive tennis courts were added to the western side of the park and a large gravel quarry opened in the north east corner. A park keeper's house was added at this time. The park layout has remained relatively unchanged since this (1). It is known that in 1919 the park contained a war memorial tank, No. 2783, a First World War relic that saw action on the battlefields of Vimy and Arras, however, the present location and fate of this memorial is unknown (2).

Reference number:D48504
Historical period: Victorian (1837 to 1901)
Event(s):Desk-Based Assessment of Wharton Park, Durham 2006; Archaeological Services Durham University

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See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Durham City


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Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.