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Friends of Grosvenor & Hilbert Park

Events in and around Grosvenor & Hilbert Park

We are now holding a few events (with current Covid guidelines in place).

Sun 19th September 2021: 1100 - 1600

Heritage Open Days – exhibition - Venue: The Hub / Table 8

Exhibition of the Park’s fascinating history. Grosvenor & Hilbert Park was created on land originally part of Charity Farm. Using the Edible England theme, we explore the farm’s past and the WW2 allotments and British Restaurant in the Park.

Full details

The Grosvenor Recreation Ground opened in 1889 and was Tunbridge Wells’ first municipal park. Four acres of land from Charity Farm was donated by the town’s first Mayor John Stone-Wigg and combined with the former Calverley Water Works to form the Park. It was intended for the industrial classes living at the northern end of the town and was designed by outstanding 19th century landscape gardener Robert Marnock. One of the former Water Works reservoirs was used as a large open-air swimming pool and remained in use until 1948.

In the 1930s Cllr E.J. Strange bought 26 acres from Charity Farm to the north-east and presented it to the council. He suggested the name Hilbert Recreation Ground after his mother, Lydia, nee Hilbert. The Edible England theme of the 2021 Heritage Open Days encouraged us to explore the history of Charity Farm. We look at the land use, farming practices and how the Park was used to grow food and as a site for a British Restaurant in WW2.
The exhibition will feature photographs and information of historic interest drawn from the Friends of Grosvenor and Hilbert Park's archives and research.


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Sun 19th September 2021: 2.30 pm

Heritage Open Days – guided walk - Venue: The Hub / Table 8
A free event but booking is advisable.

Pre-booking is preferred so please email editors@fogh.org.uk

Booking opens: Wednesday 1 September 2021 at 9.00am

A guided walk exploring the historic and renewed features of the park, and the plants and animals of its varied natural habitats. The walk will be led by Dr Ian Beavis, Research Curator at The Amelia, Tunbridge Wells.

This guided walk will cover the highlights of the park’s history from its Victorian origins as the town’s first purpose-made park to its recent Heritage Lottery funded restoration, as illustrated by surviving historical features and newer elements that complement that heritage.

The walk will also show how the park’s natural habitats reflect the origins of its component parts as the waterworks for the Calverley Estate and a typical small High Wealden mixed farm (Packs in the Wood or Charity Farm); and how they provide an important refuge for wildlife within an urban landscape. The park’s wetland, flower-rich grassland, and ancient woodland still support a wide range of flowering plants, butterflies, dragonflies, bees and other creatures, some of them nationally scarce.


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Sat 9th October 2021: 1030 -1230

Moth ID event - Venue: The Hub / Table 8

Come along any time during the morning to see the moths caught overnight in the trap, with Dr Ian Beavis.

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Spring Events 2020

There's always a lot going on in the park with events from Kent High Weald, the council and us, the Friends of Grosvenor & Hilbert.

Details are usually available on our events page and the full list is available as a PDF. Download this, print it and stick it on the fridge door.

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