Queens Gardens, Perth

The Peter Pan statue in Queens Gardens

Queens Gardens, Perth, is a 3.3 hectare park located on a former brickworks and clay pit site in the eastern end of the Perth central business district.[1][2][3][4][5] The park is bounded by Hay Street to the south, to the west, Nelson Crescent to the north and Hale Street to the east.

The site of Queen's Gardens was initially part of the commonage which was used for recreation purposes including horse racing and later as a clay pit and brickworks. Bricks were produced from the site between 1860 and 1890, and featured in many of Perth's prominent buildings constructed at that time, including the Town Hall, The Cloisters and The Barracks. At this time the place was known as the East Perth Clayfields Reserve. Between 1880 and 1890 there were a number of public protests against the use of the site for clay pits, which resulted in the City of Perth partially filling the clay pits to form ponds and the site being transferred to the City for the purpose of establishing a botanic garden.[6][7][8]

The park was opened to the public on 9 October 1898; however, it was officially opened and formally named the Queens Gardens by Mayor of the City of Perth, Alexander Forrest, MLA, in October 1899.

In the years before the first world war, it was used as a garden party location by the Mayor of Perth;[9] more recently it has been popular for open-air weddings and wedding portraiture.

The park was officially transferred to the Perth City Council on 21 January 1902. In 1906, the City erected a caretaker’s cottage in the north-east corner of the garden. New entrance gates were erected in 1914 and eight new bridges constructed in place of previous ones. Following the installation of electric lighting in 1924, use of the Gardens extended into the evenings. In 1927 new entrance gates were installed at the corner of Hay and Plain Streets, replacing the original entrance towards the eastern end of Hay Street.

In June 1929 the Rotary Club of Perth presented the Perth City Council with a replica of the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens in London,[10] as a gift to the children of Western Australia to mark the state's centenary. The reproduction was produced by the sculptor of the original statue, Sir George Frampton and autographed by the creator of Peter Pan, Sir J. M. Barrie.

The park includes a bench that is a replica of the seat in the 1999 film Notting Hill, donated to the City of Perth by a local resident known only as Rodd.[11] It has the inscription:

For June who loved this garden
From Joseph who always sat beside her[12]

Until 2019, it was believed to be the original bench from the film,[12][13] and included a plaque to that effect.[11] The plaque has since been removed.[11]

References

  1. ^ "Queens Gardens Perth". Western Mail. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 20 March 1930. p. 4 Supplement: The Western Mail. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  2. ^ Thompson Palmer Pty Ltd (1998), Queen's Gardens, Perth conservation plan prepared for the City Of Perth July 1998, n.p, retrieved 24 March 2012
  3. ^ Information about Queen's Gardens and Hyde Park, 1900, retrieved 25 March 2012
  4. ^ "Parks and Gardens". Visiting Attractions. City of Perth. Archived from the original on December 23, 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  5. ^ a poem by May Kidson about the gardens in 1925 - "Queens Gardens, Perth, W.A." Sunday Times. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 6 September 1925. p. 6 Section: Fourth Section. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Deep Drainjage and East-end Park for Perth". The Daily News. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 23 February 1894. p. 2. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Parliament". The Inquirer & Commercial News. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 15 September 1893. p. 14. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  8. ^ "General News". The Daily News. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 5 February 1894. p. 2. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  9. ^ "Perth Mayoral Graden Party". Western Mail. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 27 February 1909. p. 18. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  10. ^ Perkins, Matthew (4 April 2008). "Never Never Land in Perth". 720 ABC Perth.
  11. ^ a b c Ben O'Shea (23 January 2019). "Rodd reveals the real truth behind Perth's fake Notting Hill bench". The West Australian. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Park bench with a tale to tell". The Senior. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  13. ^ Accot, Kent (9 November 2014). "Notting Hill Love Seat is now WA Treasure". The West Australian. Retrieved 20 November 2014.

Coordinates: 31°57′34″S 115°52′36″E / 31.9595°S 115.8766°E / -31.9595; 115.8766