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27 November 2014
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October 2002
Darley Park - the history
The Terrace garden at Darley Park
The Terrace Garden at Darley Park
Darley Park is a popular leisure facility in the city and is now home to the annual open air concert. Located just minutes from the city centre, it is easily accessible from the A38 and the A6.
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audio BBC Radio Derby's Shane O'Connor explores Darley Park (28k)
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SEE ALSO
arrow Darley Park today
arrow Markeaton Park - today
arrow Markeaton Park - history
arrow Arboretum Park history
arrow Arboretum Park today
arrow Elvaston Castle Country Park history
arrow Elvaston Castle Country Park today
arrow Virtual Tour of Derby
arrow Campaign to destroy invasive plants
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arrow DerbyPhotos.co.uk
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WHERE IS IT?

Outline map of Derby showing the location of Darley Park
There are several entrances to the park including Darley Grove, Darley Park Drive – which is off the mini-roundabout on the A6 Duffield Road – and from Mileash Lane via Derwent Riverside Walk.

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What is now the site of one of Derby’s most beautiful parks was in fact once home to the county’s most important monastic institution: a house of Augustinian Canons established in 1137 and dedicated to St Helena.

Over the centuries the land passed through many hands, reaching local mill owners the Evans family by the early nineteenth century. Under Walter Evans a red brick mansion was constructed on the site – Darley House – surrounded by gardens and plantations.

Twenty acres of these gardens were donated to the former Derby Corporation in 1922, and during the next decade further additions of land were made so that the park consisted of approximately eighty acres by the time it was opened in June 1931.

Tranquility in Darley Park
Included within this eighty acres was some land on the Derwent Bank Estate, intended for use as a recreation ground. When work began on this area to level the ground, a section of Roman road was uncovered, a length of which was for a short time left open for exhibition.

The park was officially opened in June 1931 by the Duke of Kent.

Thousands of people went to the park to see the opening, including over 4000 children.

Markeaton Park was also opened by the Duke later the same day.

Included with the park was a red brick Georgian mansion, which during the Second World War housed the pupils of Derby School as an evacuation measure to protect them from potential bombings.

Unfortunately, this building had to be demolished in the early 1960s as it became too dangerous and the site was landscaped into the paved garden we see today. Some of the bricks from the original mansion were used to construct the pillars in the current garden.


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