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Victoria Gardens, Neath

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NPRN301662
Map ReferenceSS79NE
Grid ReferenceSS7542597383
Unitary (Local) AuthorityNeath Port Talbot
Old CountyGlamorgan
CommunityNeath
Type Of SitePUBLIC PARK
Period19th Century
Description

Victoria Gardens is a small, well-preserved public park in the centre of Neath, on level ground, occupying a square block surrounded by urban streets. It was built on land originally purchased from the Gnoll Estate in 1856 as an open space for the growing town. It then became the Corporation Field before the park was laid out by a local builder, Thomas John Snow, in 1897. It was officially reopened on 30 June 1898 as Victoria Gardens.

The 1913-14 Ordnance Survey map shows the park laid out with a central bandstand (nprn 32838), a circular path around it, straight cross paths and curving perimeter paths, with a belt of mixed planting between them and the boundaries. Much of this layout has been retained, detail including tarmac paths, lawns, island beds (with some rare outward facing beds), granite drinking fountain, and specimen trees such as large sycamores and oaks. There is a wide perimeter border of mixed trees and shrubs, now gone from the south side.

The park is surrounded by a low stone wall and privet hedge on all but the south side. There were originally entrances at all four corners, the main entrance on the south-west being the grandest. The park is divided into quadrants by the paths, partly flanked by Irish yews. The north-west quadrant is planted with specimen trees, the main ones being oak, plane, pollarded horse chestnuts and a tulip tree. The south-east quadrant lawn contains a gorsedd circle surrounded by some exotic plantings. In the north-west corner of the park is a statue of locally-born politician Howel Gwyn by Mario Raggi (32839).

Sources:
Cadw 2000: Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales, Glamorgan (ref: PGW(Gm)64(NEP).
Ordnance Survey second edition 25-inch map of Glamorgan, sheet XVI.9 (1899).

RCAHMW, 8 July 2022

Resources
DownloadTypeSourceDescription
application/pdfCPG - Cadw Parks and Gardens Register DescriptionsCadw Parks and Gardens Register text description of Victoria Gardens, Neath. Parks and Gardens Register Number PGW(GM)64(NEP).
application/pdfCPG - Cadw Parks and Gardens Register DescriptionsCadw Parks and Gardens Register text description of Victoria Gardens, Neath. Parks and Gardens Register Number PGW(GM)064(NEP).
application/pdfRCAHMW ExhibitionsBilingual exhibition panel entitled Parciau a Meysydd Chwarae Cyhoeddus Public Parks and Playing Fields, produced by RCAHMW 2012.