On what proved to be a warm but overcast day in June I headed out to The Arboretum, somewhere I haven’t been since a child. I didn’t really have much memory of the place, which is Nottingham’s first and therefore oldest public park and was opened in 1852.
I’m told there are 830 different species of tree in the 17 acres of the Arboretum, something which I’ll just have to take on faith; I’m not very good at identifying different types of flowers, and even worse at differentiating between different types of trees!
There is an ornamental lake that is one of the focal points of the park and which is populated by plenty of ducks and includes a simple water feature in the middle.
There are items of historic interest in the Arboretum, however. The bust below of Samuel Morley greets people from the Waverley Street entrance. He was a hosiery manufacturer and supporter of universal suffrage, as well as the founder of Nottingham’s first children’s library.
And this even more impressive statue of Feargus O’Connor can be found deep in the park. He was the only Chartist member of parliament (a Chartist being someone wanting political reform), and the statue is the only one in the UK to be dedicated to a Chartist leader.
The most stunning feature of the park though has to be the Chinese Bell Tower.
It is a monument to the Siege of Sevastopol in the Crimean War, represented by the cannons, and the Anglo-Chinese Opium Wars, as represented by the bell. It is a lovely piece of architecture, nestled away in one corner of the park.
There are other areas of interest such as the aviaries, some of which have survived on the site since 1892. They still include a lot of colourful birds, but they are somewhat difficult to photograph through thin bars.
It is a lovely spot to visit, surprisingly quiet for its location, even with the tram occasionally roaring past. One of Nottingham’s many green spaces that probably doesn’t get as much attention as it should.
You can find more photos at my flickr.