Things have been looking up recently for one of Bath’s most unusual but well-loved green spaces.
Hedgemead Park was laid out – in the late 19th century – on the site of an earlier residential development destroyed by a landslip.
In 1883 it was agreed that the City Corporation would acquire the unstable ground and plant it as a public park in order to consolidate the dangerous slope.
When opened, the site was known as Hedgemead Pleasure Ground and was laid out with a series of contoured walks, a terrace walk and bandstand, an ornamental cast-iron drinking fountain, and terraces retained by stone walls and structural planting designed to consolidate the slope.
Time has taken its toll on the place but the park hit the local headlines when a flower bed was planted with edibles and re-named Vegmead!
The bandstand has been restored and now – a newly-formed Friends of Hedgemead have started work on that ornamental drinking fountain.
Some of the specialist work – analysing what original paint was used and re-gilding the eagle at the top of the fountain – has been undertaken by Bath’s World Heritage Enhancement Fund which is meeting the costs.
Ainslie Ensom – the Fund Administrator – told Bath Newseum:
A useful place for a drinking fountain – if only it worked!