Until 1901 the land to the north west of Windsor Gardens was an open field between two steep wooded dingles that in post-mediaeval times were probably wood-pasture used by the scattered local farms.

Alexandra Gardens were developed rapidly on this site over the next year with paths laid and a shelter and bandstand constructed on newly cut terraces. The park was officially opened on June 25th 1902 and was named after the wife of Edward VII.

Early photographs give the impression of a rather sparse layout but the planting had actually been well thought out and the park has now evolved into a pleasant mix of trees shrubs and opens spaces with visual breaks and focal points.

From the start the park was connected to the town by walkways that allowed access from the town centre and railway station to the seafront. The principal interest in the early years was the shaded walks of the dingles and the views seawards from around the bandstand.

A cenotaph became a central feature in 1924 and by the 1930ís a more formal character had been established and the parkís long tradition of elaborate topiary had begun. This topiary especially the large yew birds near the town entrance remain a major feature of the park.

The layout of the park is still much the same as it was in the late 1920ís early 1930ís although at the seaward end the imposing entrance lodge is now in private hands and the reservoirs which served the baths on the Esplanade have been filled in.

A number of very interesting historical images of Alexandra Park are available on the pages of the website below.


A link to the latest Google Streetview is provided below but please be aware that this may be somewhat out of date.
Google Streetview at Town Entrance