Established in 1857, a nice place in the middle of the city to just be away from it all. Steps away are the streets and the shops and the peoples, but once you’re inside, none of that exists.
A park for the people, it was established in response to an inquiry on the health of the peoples. It was determined that a park, a place with fresh air and greenery would do the people good.
The lake overlooked by the museum contains a swan house and a fountain. As well, somewhere along the lake’s borders is a walrus.
The walrus doesn’t seem too important, except when you learn that Lewis Carroll was there, writing his poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter.”
Apparently, Lewis Carroll was quite the fan of the park and perhaps Sunderland in general. Walking through the park, one can’t help but think of having travelled through the Looking Glass. Rumor has it, he wrote “The Jabberwocky” here.
The drinking fountain was erected in 1878 by the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows. It is a memorial to William Hall, who was the oldest Oddfellow in the North of England when he died aged 75 in 1876.
How much more of Wonderland could we find here in this park?
Now here’s a dream: to play with a giant chess set, so elegantly carved.
“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to. Alice: I don’t much care where. The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go. Alice: …So long as I get somewhere. The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
A gorgeous oak door. It was locked, so to where does it lead?
This one’s for you, Young Miss.
That oak, lion door from before? This is the top of it. What mysteries does it hold? And yes, I tried the door; it’s locked.
Poet Linda Frank worked with 80 odd peoples to write their reflections and thoughts about the park. This one is my favorite.
All the park benches have these brass plaques on them. I wish I had walked around and looked at all of them. Would have made me smile even more.
Jack Crawford served on HMS Venerable during the Battle of Camperdown. He was honoured for his bravery when he climbed the mast to nail the British flag back on while under heavy fire. His actions were said to have raised the morale of the men and spurred them on to victory. He died in 1831 and his statue was unveiled in 1890 by the Earl of Camperdown.
I ended my walk at a War Memorial. It was one of the lovelier ones I have seen. The most interesting part are the blank slates for future wars. Both sad and sweet.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.”
*A couple of the captions are from the Sunderland City Council’s Local Studies Centre Fact Sheet. Saved me a bit of time researching and writing.