Thursday, 6 April 2017

Sefton Park - Part 2

Some more pictures from our visit to Sefton Park in March. 

The main lake is still known as the Boating Lake  even though it stopped being a venue for boating in the 1970s when the jetty and boat hire facilities were removed. The lake was totally emptied in 2007 for extensive renovation work and all of the fish (which included specimen weights of carp, tench, roach, pike and golden orf) were caught with large nets and sent to various locations across the UK. Following its restoration, the lake was refilled in 2010. Turtles have also been spotted in the lake.  Not only could one go rowing on the lake when GB and I were young but we also sailed our model boats that Dad made for us.

Stepping stones on one of the pathways.

We paid a visit to the Palm House. 

This is a Grade II three-tier dome conservatory which opened in 1896. Liverpool millionaire Henry Yates Thompson (the great nephew of the founder of Liverpool's Princes Park) gave £10,000 to the city to fund its construction. It was designed in the tradition of Joseph Paxton's glass houses and was stocked originally with a rich collection of exotic plants.  

During the Liverpool Blitz of May 1941 a bomb fell nearby and shattered the glass. It was re-glazed in 1950 at a cost of £6,163 with costs covered by War Restoration funds. A period of decline and deterioration culminated in its closure in the 1980s on grounds of safety.   It was later fully restored at a cost of £3.5 million and re-opened in 2001.

I liked the clever use of an old post-box as a donation box.

Sefton Park has a copy of  the bronze statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, next to Hyde Park, London. 

The exact location of the London one was chosen by Peter Pan's author, J.M. Barrie. Barrie lived close to Kensington Gardens and published his first Peter Pan story in 1902, using the park for inspiration. In his Peter Pan tale, The Little White Bird, Peter flies out of his nursery and lands beside the Long Water lake - on the spot where the statue now stands.  Barrie began planning the Peter Pan statue in 1906. He took photos of the six-year-old Michael Llewelyn Davies wearing a special Peter Pan costume to help a sculptor recreate his vision. In 1912, he found the man to make the statue, Sir George Frampton, and by 1st May that year, the sculpture was in place in Kensington Gardens. 

This copy of the statue was placed in Sefton Park in 1928 and was unveiled in the presence of Barrie.

An important feature of most Victorian parks was the bandstand around which crowds would sit at the weekend listening to the local brass bands.   

They still played there in my youth but I don’t know if they do nowadays.  Sefton Park’s bandstand was said to be the inspiration for the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Another important statue in the park is that of “Eros”.  I have put Eros in quotes because it is a replica of the statue in Piccadilly Circus commonly known as Eros.  In fact both statues are not of Eros but of Anteros – one of the Greek Gods of requited love. Physically, he is depicted as similar to Eros in every way, but with long hair and plumed butterfly wings.  He has been described also as armed with either a golden club or arrows of lead.  

Anteros means love returned and he was the avenger of unrequited love.  The original statue, in London, was created as a memorial to the Earl of Shaftesbury in 1893 and was symbolic of the selfless philanthropic love of the Earl for the poor.  The one now standing in Sefton Park is a fairly recent replacement for the original which was unveiled in 1932 and was an early example of aluminium sculpture.  The original one corroded and is now on display in Liverpool’s National Conservation Centre.

Hidden away in the park is the Fairy Glen. 

 An iron bridge, opened in 1873, spans the top of the Fairy Glen.

 Below this are delightful waterfalls and stepping stones.

I hope you enjoyed your trips around one of Liverpool's parks.


  1. Yes, i enjoyed it very, very much. One day i'd like to go walk there and pretend the fairies are real.

  2. Thank you for taking us along - this was a wonderful trip to a beautiful park!
    The bandstand in Ripon's Spa Gardens is very similar to the one here, and it is in use regularly; I've seen and heard brass bands playing there.
    I love the story about how the Peter Pan statue came about, didn't know it was modeled on a real little boy chosen by the author of Peter Pan himself.

  3. Neat post! Enjoyed all the photos. A beautiful park indeed! Especially like the post-box used for receiving donations.

  4. What a splendid park! I love the conservatory, thank goodness for the Victorians, eh? As for the statues, I DID think, "haven't I seen those somewhere before?".... ! I loved your very exhilarating photos of falling water. Lovely post. (And I am sure you couldn't resist putting a small donation in the letter box. )

  5. I definitely want to revisit some of the Liverpool Parks before I pop my clogs. The only one I've been to recently (ie within the last 10 years) is Calderstones. I've learned something else from that post though: Eros isn't Eros. Next you'll be telling me that the earth is not round but an oblate spheroid.

  6. Yes, I enjoyed this very much, John!
    I think I have written about the statue in honor of the Earl of Shaftesbury but I have written a few posts now and can't remember if I did! Also, I love that J.M.Barrie was there for the statue in 1928. I didn't know that you have the exact replica as the one in London!
    Liverpool will always mean the Beatles for me, always! :-)

  7. Thanks John. I'm cheered considerably by your post - the pictures are excellent.

  8. Thank you for guiding us throughnthe park! Interesting stories about the statues, also the rectification of Eross in fact being Anteros. And lovely photos, of course I immediately love the letterbox, and the waterfall :-)

  9. It's so beautiful! I think I have a picture of Liverpool in my mind that is more of the industrial look and not so many parks! I'll always think of the Beatles too! You've shown me how lovely where you live truly is. I hope you had a wonderful Easter too!

  10. Great photos, thanks for taking us along on the journey! Love the statuary. My one complaint would be directed to the person who decided to put a straight bridge over the glen, instead of an arched one. An arched bridge would have been so much more picturesque and fairy-friendly, don't you think?

  11. That's a really clever use for a mailbox. I wonder if anyone ever tries to post letters in it?

  12. A lovely reminder of where I used to live!


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