Derby - Markeaton Park
w/e 26 June 2005
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

The Orangery

In this changeable English climate we experienced a few days of glorious summer weather and were able to enjoy a couple of hours on one of them wandering through Derby's Markeaton Park. The park which was originally part of the Markeaton Hall Estate owned by the Mundy family from 1516, is Derby's most used leisure facility. Markeaton Hall, a traditional half timbered building was replaced by a new hall during the late 18th century but this was demolished in the 1960s to be replaced by a landscaped terrace. The Orangery however still remains.

The Orangery today houses the park’s cafeteria and is now a listed building. It was designed by Joseph Pickford in the 1770s. Sitting outside the Orangery sipping a cooling drink with the accompanying trickle of water in the nearby fountain, one could almost describe this as one of Nat 'King' Cole's "Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer".
Craft Village

Behind the Orangery is the former stable block of Markeaton Hall which now houses the Markeaton Craft Village. Set up in 1987 the village is made up of a number of individual units where numerous skills and crafts may be observed. These include joinery, ceramics, stained glass, pottery and beekeeping to name just a few.
Duck Pond

The layout of the park has changed very little since its opening by the Duke of Kent in June 1931 and beyond the Craft Village is the duck pond. Although there are some ducks here, the main occupants these days seem to be Canada geese. Water flows into the pond via a small waterfall and under the bridge seen on the right of the picture above and in these two small pictures.

There are of course many floral features in the park. Trees and shrubs abound and there are many herbaceous borders and seasonal flower beds as well as a rose garden but the fauna also is an important part. Here we see some of the waterfowl already mentioned plus a grey squirrel obviously used to human proximity and a blackbird that was finding the hot sunny conditions a little uncomfortable.
Markeaton Lake

Markeaton is Derby's largest park and in these few images we have only glimpsed a fraction of it. It was back in 1903 that Mrs Mundy first donated five acres of the Markeaton Estate for use as a recreation ground and the origins of the Mundy Play Centre date back to 1924, when Mrs Mundy gave several more acres of land to the people of Derby. By 1929 Mrs Mundy had died and the estate had passed to the Reverend Clarke Maxwell who gave the Hall and another twenty acres of its gardens to the Derby Corporation. The remaining 180 acres of the park were bought by the Corporation in 1930 and work began three years later to increase the size of the lake which was opened in July 1934. Today the park is the site of many events throughout the year.

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