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Friends of Preston Park

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Parks : Friends of Preston Park


Friends of Preston Park

The purpose of Friends of Preston Park is (1) to promote the protection and improvement of the park environment for the people who use it; and (2) to further involve the local community and to work with other bodies involved with the park.

For fuller details, download the constitution by clicking on this link:
The constitution of the Friends of Preston Park (PDF, 277K)

Public meetings:

The group holds at least one public meeting each year, including our Annual General Meeting. Of course, anybody is welcome to attend these meetings, the dates of which will be posted on this site.

History of Preston Park [extract] by Selma Montford

The land, which eventually became Preston Park, was part of the Manor of Preston. It belonged to the Bishops of Selsey, and later Chichester, from before the Norman Conquest until 1561 when it became Crown property.

The Manor ceased to be Crown property in 1628 when it passed to the Shirley family who owned the Manor until 1712. Their steward described “the Mansion House of Preston” with “a gatehouse, stables, coach house and other outhouses, barns, gardens, orchards, bowling green with a plantation of young elms”. William Stanford bought Preston Manor and nearly 1,000 acres of land from his landlord Charles Western in 1794 for £17,000.

The land, open meadows divided by fenced hedgerows with trees, was probably used for sheep farming in the 17th and 18th centuries. In a dry year is sometimes possible to see a green ring in the grass close to the Tile House, which may have been a dewpond. The Park was demesne land, i.e. it was farmed by the lord of the manor and not let to tenant farmers.

The ‘Ha-Ha’, which forms the southern boundary of the old croquet lawn of the Manor, was a normal garden wall in the 16th century when the land sloped naturally from northeast to southwest.

The population of Brighton had grown considerably by the late 19th century and it was necessary to provide leisure facilities for rich and poor. In 1871 William Davies, a Brighton bookmaker, made a bequest of £70,000 to the corporation and according to the will this money had to be spent on buying 67 acres of meadow for £50,000 from Mr and Mrs Bennett-Stanford.

Preston Park, originally known as Brighton Park, was opened to the public just a week after its purchase. The Brighton Herald reported on the opening on 13 September 1883 “now that the park is actually in the possession of the inhabitants [of Brighton] we think the town may fairly be congratulated on the excellent judgement which has been shown in adding to it what will undoubtedly prove one of its most pleasant and permanent additions, and that, too, at an almost nominal charge upon the rates”.

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Preston Park, originally known as Brighton Park, was opened to the public just a week after its purchase. The Brighton Herald reported on the opening on 13 September 1883 “now that the park is actually in the possession of the inhabitants [of Brighton] we think the town may fairly be congratulated on the excellent judgement which has been shown in adding to it what will undoubtedly prove one of its most pleasant and permanent additions, and that, too, at an almost nominal charge upon the rates”.

Parks : Friends of Preston Park : Friends of Queen’s Park


 

 

 

 

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