Privett Gardens

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HCC Site ID: 1754 Parish: Gosport
Designations: Area:
Access: Public Access Ownership: Gosport Borough Council

Location and Site

The Gardens are surrounded by housing with two entrances, one from Charlesbury Avenue and one from Bury Hall Road. The name derives from the area of Privett shown on the 2nd ed OS map,1898.

Historic Development

The Gardens were established at the same time as the new houses were built in the area, in the early 1930s.The town map of Gosport,1931, taken from the 4th ed OS map, shows septic tanks (disused), in the area of the present Privett Gardens. The tanks, surrounded by trees lie on the north-western side of a defined area which looks like a park, even at this date. There is an area on the north-eastern side which if this area is the incipient park, could be the present mound. A Gosport town map of 1932 shows pencil marks of a rough outline of roads and houses and the 1936 map shows these well-established with the Gardens – probably finished about 1934.
The Gardens were originally known as ‘The Rosery’ by locals, because of beauty and abundance of roses (Verbal communication in 1985).
The gardens were accessed from the North and South by gates with a central axis running through the whole; within this axis but closer to the South entrance was a designed lozenge-shaped area which by the 1950s had rose beds in the shape of a cross and at either end two specimen yews stood ‘on guard’ (exact date of planting not known). Immediately after entering by the North gate was the ‘mound’ topped with hawthorn trees and gorse. It is believed that the mound may have been formed when the septic tanks were dug out. The tanks were removed in the 1960s which may be when some of the trees shown on the 1931 map were removed. The rose beds are still visible on the 1966 Gosport town map.
The roses were still there when visited in1996 for the Urban Parks Study,though the beds were not in the same cross shape and the locals said that there had previously been far more roses over a wider area, along pathways and around boundary (HGT communication 1996). As seen from early maps, the original pathways had been changed, probably in the 1970s.
In 1996, the locals stated that the park was popular although there were only two seats. It was well-kept if uninspiring, laid mainly to grass. It was used as a walk through from the houses on Charlesbury Avenue to Bury Hall Road, and the mound was often used as a cycle ramp.

Current Description

The general layout of the gardens remains as it was created in the 1930s and developed in the 1950s but has now the appearance of a small park rather than gardens. The park is surrounded by housing, with boundaries of shrubs and mature trees which have grown to obscure any through views out. A primary school is sited on the west side, with mature pines in its grounds forming a dramatic skyline view from within the park. A weeping willow lies in the SE part of the park. Pathways now slightly differ from earlier maps. The two entrances remain, with hoop-topped metal railings and a gate topped by designed overhead metal arcs. The HGT review in 1996 refers to the gates as being ‘…a new entrance feature’. The mound topped with mature hawthorn and gorse, remains on the left when entering at the northern entrance; the two yews at the southern end of the axis can be seen from the southern gate; they have joined together to form an arch, with shrubs visible beneath. The second pair of yews, also joined together at the upper part stand at the other end of the centrally-designed feature where the rose beds have been replaced by undistinguished shrubs.The park is well-regarded and well-used by local residents either to walk through, walk dogs or entertain small children who ride bikes and play football on the grass. A notice asks children ‘to play smart and play safe’. Further notices ban dog fouling, cycling or the drinking of alcohol. Whilst being mainly grass, the park is nevertheless well-maintained and the yews though allowed to grow to join each other at the top, are clipped and neat. However the only amenities are four reasonably new wooden benches and as it is not lit at night, though open, its use is restricted to daylight hours only.

Summary

1930s gardens with grassed areas, a mound and some mature tree and shrub boundaries with a central display area, originally planted with roses now with shrubs and four large yews. Currently it is a small, well-maintained park, frequently used or passed through by residents.

HGT Research update: December 2013

References

Information up to 1996 from the Hampshire County Council/Hampshire Gardens Trust Urban Parks Study,1997
4th ed OS map, 1931, Gosport
Photographs 1960-1996, Hampshire Gardens Trust
Current information from a site visit, September, 2013
Information from Gosport Borough Council


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