A Guide to Peasholm Park
Peasholm Park is an oriental themed park located in the North Bay area of Scarborough. It opened in 1912 and became a favourite venue for galas, displays and exhibitions. It is a unique and beautiful park open for everyone to enjoy throughout the year.
Peasholm Park is a great place for families on a budget, entrance to the park is completely free. Well behaved dogs, held on leads by their well behaved owners, are welcome to tPeasholm Park. Dog Owners are also welcome to use any of the numerous litter bins around to dispose of dog mess.
Peasholm Park has been designed within a natural glen with a stream running through it which culminates in the lake at the bottom. You can hire boats of all shapes and sizes to enjoy the lake at close quarters. Boats include traditional rowing boats and canoes, but pedaloes with dragon heads are available too.
There are many choices of paths to take as you walk up the glen, you can follow the stream with its gentle little waterfalls and small ponds, one of which is often used for sailing model boats. The Glen is the perfect place to walk or sit and enjoy the natural features all around. The oriental theme can be seen in the design of bridges and the layout of many areas of the park. At the top of the glen is a lily pond surrounded by a garden area.
There are lots of rare and unusual trees and flowers, both naturally wild and deliberately planted. Wild geese, swans and ducks swim around on the lake and squirrels are seen every day within the woodlands. As time has gone on and some of the original trees have died, parts of their stumps have been specially carved into figures. Look out for the squirrel and the dragon!
The Naval Warfare event, Battle of Peasholm, has been played out three times a week during the summer season for over 80 years. In the early years, the models were First World War battleships, called Dreadnoughts, and a U-boat. Then, after the Second World War, the fleet was replaced with new vessels and the battle that was recreated was the Battle of the River Plate. The model boats used are mostly man powered earning the title of "The smallest manned navy in the world". All the boats were man powered, until 1929, when electricity was introduced, and now only the larger boats need to be steered.
Other events staged in the park include silver and brass band concerts, party in the park, proms in the park and lantern displays.
Peasholm Park was created on land known as Tuckers Field which was purchased by the Borough in 1911 with the intention of constructing a new park around a lake. Mr Harry. W. Smith, the Borough Engineer, had the idea of setting out the new gardens in a Japanese style. This was innovative thinking, and his ideas have led to the creation of the unique Peasholm Park.
The original oriental Japanese statues were bought from Killerby Hall (now better known as Flamingo Land). Also, exotic flowers and shrubs were brought from the French Riviera home of a local retired banker and planted in the Glen.
Work began on the construction of the island and lake in December 1911 and amazingly phase one of Peasholm Park was ready for the public by the following summer. The official opening was 19th June 1912 and Peasholm Park immediately became one of Scarborough’s top attractions.
Peasholm Park proved to be such a popular place that in 1924, terraced seating was constructed to accommodate the crowds, work also began on phase two of the park and by 1932 Peasholm Glen was incorporated into Peasholm Park. In 1929, George W. Alderson, architect, designed the Pagoda and the cascade on the Island.
Unfortunately, in the 1970s and 1980s Peasholm Park became sadly neglected. Possibly the lowest point for Peasholm Park was in October 1999 when the Pagoda was burned down by vandals. A £300,000.00 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled the Council to rebuild the Pagoda in its original form. The Half-moon Bridge connecting the Island to the mainland has also been replaced, the cascade upgraded and the beautiful gardens restored and made even more beautiful than before.