Coronation Park - History

Coronation Park first appeared on Ordnance Survey maps for the 1920s, though it was created in 1911 to mark the coronation of King George V.[1]

In October 1912 the Parks Committee visited the park for inspection and agreed that £40 be provided for planting trees at the foot of the embankment.[2]

The Committee decided to provide a baseball pitch in April 1913, on the understanding that it would not be for the exclusive use of any one club.[3]

The proximity of the park to the Transporter Bridge caused the Works and General Purposes Committee in December 1913 to propose that a house be built in Coronation Park so that the Superintendent of the bridge could also act as park keeper. The Parks Committee instructed the Borough Engineer to prepare plans and an estimate of cost,[4] and these were approved the following month.[5] In the event this matter was referred back by the Council and in February 1914 the Committee agreed to take no further action at present.[6] Later that year the Parks Committee wished to provide a public convenience in the park and obtained a circular urinal via the Health Committee.[7] This convenience was to be placed near the Transporter Bridge anchorage.[8]

In September 1920 the Parks Committee visited the park for inspection and agreed that a shelter be repaired and a urinal be placed in the corner of the park, nearest the embankment.[9] The "old shelter" was blown down in a gale and reported to be completely wrecked in January 1921.[10]

A drinking fountain was provided following a request in June 1922 from the Newport Trades Council. The Parks Committee agreed that this be done as soon as possible.[11]

In October 1923 the Committee agreed that a shelter and urinal be erected on the western side of the Transporter Bridge anchorage.[12] The Borough Engineer reported in January 1924 that construction of the shelter had started.[13] In November of that year the Committee accepted an offer from the Public Works Committee to rent (for one shilling per year) a strip of land on the south side of the eastern anchorage of the Transporter Bridge, where a lean-to shelter could be built against the wall of the anchorage site.[14]

An extension to the park was initiated in December 1924 when the Parks Committee decided to purchase adjoining land, and to make application to the Minister of Health to borrow £4,494 for this purpose.[15] In May 1925 the area of this land was measured at 14 acres 3 roods and 24 perches. The purchase price was £4,097 and the seller Lord Lambourne.[16] Development of this land was delayed for some years while several schemes for draining and levelling it were proposed but not implemented.[17]

A tender from Wickstead & Co. to supply a set of swings and a giant stride for the park was accepted in July 1926.[18]

In December 1928 the Committee accepted the tender of Mr Fred Baker of £130 to construct lavatory accommodation.[19]

Draining and fencing of the land purchased to extend the park was finally initiated in September 1934, when a tender was accepted from British Estate Services Ltd, priced at £1,473-3s-2d.[20] In July 1935 the Parks Committee heard that part of the extension grounds would be available for play in the autumn,[21] and in August 1936 the Parks Superintendent reported that two association football pitches were being prepared in the park extension and they would be available for play in the coming season.[22]

A tender from Mr J. H. Bevan to build a sports pavilion was accepted in December 1938.[23] Mr Bevan also submitted a successful tender to build an entrance lodge in May 1939.[24]

In October 1939 permission was granted to the military authorities to use football pitches in both Coronation and Shaftesbury Parks, as well as a portion of those parks to carry out exercises.[25]

Other wartime uses were for food production and grazing of sheep. In spring 1941 the Parks Committee permitted grazing on the extension part of the park, the area involved being approximately ten acres.[26] In April 1942 the Committee decided that portions of several parks, including Coronation, "be set aside for the duration of the war and a reasonable time thereafter for allotment purposes."[27]

By the 1950s the Ordnance Survey map indicates that the park had expanded considerably east of its original footprint and contained a lodge, playground with a drinking fountain, pavilion, lavatories and a tennis court or courts.

In the 1980s, Coronation Park was greatly extended to provide facilities for soccer, rugby, and baseball. It has hosted international baseball matches between England and Wales.

Sources of Information

  1. National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW) - Coronation Park
  2. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 3rd October 1912
  3. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 18th April 1913
  4. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 19th December 1913
  5. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 16th January 1914
  6. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 20th February 1914
  7. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 16th October 1914
  8. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 16th July 1915
  9. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 9th September 1920
  10. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 21st January 1921
  11. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 23rd June 1922
  12. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 11th October 1923
  13. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 25th January 1924
  14. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 27th November 1924
  15. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 2nd December 1924
  16. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 25th May 1925
  17. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 26th November 1926 & 4th February 1927
  18. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 23rd July 1926
  19. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 28th December 1928
  20. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 21st September 1934
  21. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 19th July 1935
  22. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 28th August 1936
  23. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 16th December 1938
  24. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 19th May 1939
  25. Parks and Cemeteries Committee Matters decided by the Deputy Chairman 12-28th October 1939
  26. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 18th April 1941 & 16th May 1941
  27. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 30th April 1942