English Heritage has just recognised Wellington’s wonderful park as one of the most important of its kind in Britain, upgrading it to Grade II* as “ a particularly fine example of Edwardian parks”.
According to English Heritage: “As with listed buildings, urban parks are divided between three grades: Grade I sites are of exceptional interest; Grade II* sites are
particularly important, of more than special interest and Grade II sites are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.”
The park’s site was given to the town by the Fox family who not only donated valuable land but also offered to pay for its layout as a public park. Work began in 1902 and it was opened to the public in May 1903.
Its design has barely changed since it was opened in 1903, keeping faithfully to the design of FW Meyer, and it retains many of its original structures and the town’s War Memorial. English Heritage also describes the planting as good, particularly the mature trees.
Cllr Catherine Herbert, who holds Taunton Deane’s sports, parks and leisure portfolio, said: “This is wonderful news. Wellington Park is a real treasure and I am thrilled English Heritage has upgraded the listing.
“The fact the park is so well preserved is down to the efforts of our parks department over the years and the tremendous support from the Friends of Wellington Park.”
The park is one of just 30 across the country to have its status upgraded following consultations with the Garden History Society and Somerset Gardens Trust.