|HCC Site ID:||1652||Parish:||Havant|
|Access:||Public Access||Ownership:|| Public Park/
Havant District Council
Location and site
Havant Park is in the centre of Havant, bounded by the Southampton to Brighton railway line to the north, Park Road North to the west, Elm Grove to the south and the Market Parade shops and dwellings to the east.
Havant Local Board purchased 3.5 hectares of land for a public park in 1888 and 1890 from three owners, Miss Norman, Sir Frederick Fitzqigram and Mr N. S. Gloyne. It was bounded on the North by the railway line, on the south by a stream, called a lavant, on the east by a wall bordering the Cattle market and private houses and on the west by a road and a private entrance into the Isolation Hospital. There was access from the west, adjacent to the Lodge, and from the south. A pathway, with an ornamental fountain, ran across the park from the Lodge, occupied by the Park Keeper, to the western boundary. A sports pavilion was built on the northern boundary from public subscription. There was also a path encircling the whole park. The size of the trees, shown on photographs between 1912 and 1921 indicate that trees had probably been planted on the boundaries soon after it became a public park. Tennis courts were an early addition, as shown by photographs of tennis tournaments. Many public celebrations such as George V’s Jubilee in 1935 were held on the park. Cricket, football and hockey were played there and yearly sports meetings occurred.
Although the fountain, for long a meeting place, has disappeared after it was removed for storage when the work on the drainage system in the town centre was carried out in the 1920s, the path running east/west remains, as does the wall on the eastern boundary. The park remains the focal point for many activities, including fun fairs and the yearly Havant Show. Football and hockey are no longer played on the park, but the pavilion is the home of the Havant Cricket Club of the Southern Premier Cricket League. The tennis courts, now tarmac, are in general use, and the recently established children’s playground and skate park in the southwest corner are popular. There is a fine London plane tree in the southwestern corner, and the well-established horse chestnut tree line the stream on the southern boundary. The lodge, until recently part of the Council’s housing stock, is now being refurbished to become a Young Persons Advisory Centre. The footpath encircling the park remains, with the addition of many benches. The park, a pleasing open green area in the centre of Havant, is well used in the summer by workers and people living locally.
The Park, in existence for just over 100 years, has remained untouched, and has proved its worth as a public amenity. This it still does even although it’s various uses has changed over the years. There are people there all times of the year, even in winter, and it is much used in the summer months. Although now surrounded by busy roads, shops and the Meridian Shopping Centre it still provides an oasis of recreation available to everybody
HGT Research: UPS 1997, update April 2003