Saturday, 10 January 2009

Faringdon Road Park on a frosty morning

Faringdon Road Park on a frosty morning - probably not Swindon's most beautiful park but with an interesting history. The land was purchased by GWR in 1844 from local land owner Lt Col Vilett for use as a cricket ground. It was also used for the annual children's fete which was held every August until the outbreak of WWI. It was originally known as the Cricket Fields, then the Plantation and later Victoria Park. The park was taken over by Swindon Corporation and turned into a public park in 1925.
(ref: Mark Child's Swindon: An Illustrated History)

The view across the park - in the distance the Swindon Hill and Radnor Street Cemetery are just visible in the mist.

One of the curious curved stones found in the immediate area - there is another in Radnor Street cemetery. I can't help thinking they once formed part of a much older monument.

This stone is unlike any I have encountered in my walks around Swindon - not sure if it is sarsen or sandstone rock. Examples of sandstone rock can be seen in the Old Town section of the railway cutting for the old Wootton Bassett to Marlborough line.

One of the entrances to the park with another smooth stone (sarsen or sandstone) just behind the notice. Faringdon Road Park was rather lovely this morning in the frost - just a few people around, dog walking or making their way by foot into the town centre. Due to its proximity to the town centre, this unsung public facility has suffered much from anti-social behaviour in the recent past. Let us not forget that it has an important place in Swindon's railway heritage and is still a much valued green space for the people of the town.