Buxton's Pavilion Gardens celebrates its 150th anniversary

Buxton’s stunning Pavilion Gardens turned 150 this week – with plans to continue the celebrations for the next year.

By Lucy Ball
Friday, 13th August 2021, 8:49 am

The popular visitor attraction marked the milestone on Tuesday, having first opened on August 10, 1871.

However, plans to celebrate the anniversary have been hampered by the impact of Covid 19 and the uncertainty around what would or would not be possible.

So a series of events throughout the next year has been put in place to celebrate the park’s 150 years.

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Celebrations for the Pavilion Gardens 150th anniversary have been low key but park bosses say events will continue all year

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24 pictures of Buxton's Pavilion Gardens over the years as it celebrates its 150...

Paul Kelsall, the General Manager at Pavilion Gardens, said: “The timing of the anniversary is unfortunate after the last 17 months of such uncertainty, which clearly affected our plans.

"However we can really look forward now to celebrating Pavilion Gardens' 150th year. Our events programme has never looked so exciting and there is more investment coming to improve the structure, decoration and facilities.”

Parkwood Leisure, which took over the running of the site in 2019, is working with Vision Buxton, Buxton Museum, High Peak Borough Council, Eat in the Park and several other local businesses to bring celebratory events and activities together over the coming year.

Celebrations for the Pavilion Gardens 150th anniversary have been low key but park bosses say events will continue all year

There will be an exhibition of people's memories in the Gardens, another exhibition of the history of the Gardens, a Gardens Party, a host of new events and an anniversary dinner to come over the next few months.

The land for Pavilion Gardens was gifted by the 7th Duke of Devonshire and the park was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and Edward Milner. It was built with the aim of adding to the attractions and increasing the prosperity of Buxton.

A Buxton Improvements Company was formed in 1869 to look after the Pavilion Gardens, which have been owned by the local authority since 1927, when the Buxton Corporation acquired the buildings, gardens and pleasure grounds.

Parkwood Leisure is marking the event with a number of 150-themed things: giving away 150 items – train rides, ice creams; tours of the gardens for 150 visitors and 150 school children with local company Discover Buxton; an exhibition of 150 photographs taken in the Pavilion Gardens including people’s weddings, first dates, music concerts and socially-distanced outdoor meetings during the pandemic.

A view of the Pavilion Gardens on its 150th anniversary

They are also planning to donate 150 items to the High Peak Foodbank and to plant a tree to mark the milestone.

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