Coronation Park

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Coronation Park


The park laid out and ready for opening in 1937

Coronation Park, which lies between St Aubin's Road and Victoria Avenue is much closer to Bel Royal than it is to Millbrook but has traditionally been known by most islanders as Millbrook Park

The boating pond on 10 April 1937

The new park was laid out in the 1930s on land given to the island by Florence Boot in memory of her husband Jesse, 1st Baron Trent, after his death in 1931. At the same time the neighbouring church of St Matthew was refurbished.

The park is overlooked on the opposite side of St Aubin's Road by Villa Millbrook, the home of Jesse and Florence Boot. It includes a fine rose garden, lawns, a paddling pool, children's play area and a café.

Historic Environment Record

This is the entry in the HER website:

"A rare, extensive and complex inter-War formal seaside public park. The park survives intact and is well maintained.

A fine design laid out at a period when few such complex parks were being created. In Jersey it is of high significance.

Opened in 1937 by Florence Lady Trent, to celebrate the coronation of King George VI. One of the Island's most delightful parks, it was previously voted Best Public Park in the British Isles.

This is a popular location for families, as it includes a children's playground, paddling pool and shelter.

The park is home to a large array of plants and manicured lawns and was gifted to the people of Jersey from Lady Trent (wife of Lord Trent - Jesse Boot of Boot's the Chemist fame)

The Garden History Group of La Société Jersiaise says: Lady Trent, the widow of Lord Trent, the former Jesse Boot, gave the 22 vergees of land to the island in 1937. She had already developed the land into a garden. In a letter to the Bailiff she described it as 'a Coronation gift to the island, to be kept as an open space forever ... As a resting place for older people, and as a recreation place for the young ones'.

No bicyclists or organised games were to be allowed, just rest, refreshment and music.

Originally known as Coronation Gardens it is now perhaps better known as Millbrook Park.

There was a restrictive covenant forbidding the planting of trees or shrubs that might grow so tall as to impair the sea view from Villa Millbrook, where Lady Trent lived until her death in 1952. In her memory the family transferred the land, by deed of gift, to the public in perpetuity with a bequest of £7,500 to maintain the park.

In 1987 the Great Storm destroyed many mature trees. Replanting included 58 species, 421 new trees and shrubs and herbaceous plants. An adventure playground was installed in 1990. Some of the park structures, including the terrace shelter and all the gates, were designed by locally renowned architect Arthur Grayson. The park layout was designed by Miller Son and White, landscape architects.

It is bounded to the north by Route de St Aubin and to the south by Victoria Avenue. The park is surrounded by a granite wall. It is overlooked by St Matthew's Church, which is roughly contemporary and contains a world-class collection of Lalique glass donated by the Boots at the north-west corner.

A central gateway gives access from the north. From here a drive leads south to the central pavilion. The drive is flanked by the hedged paddling pool quarter to the west and the playground quarter to the east, enclosed by shrubberies and mature pines. The north drive leads to the southern gateway overlooking and giving access to the beach across the road.

The park is divided into several areas. The open southern lawns are broken up by informal shrubberies and other borders. A sunken garden towards the east boundary is laid out with raised beds supported by dry stone granite walls, its focal point a central oval bed.

The oval paddling pool is set in modern block paving within a lawn and is overlooked by a partly glazed timber shelter to the east and by the church tower to the west, through a line of pines. It is surrounded by shrub borders.

The main pavilion stands on a terrace, elevated above its surrounds. It is made of wood and faces south. It has three openings with flattened arches, and a further glazed central opening to the rear which gives a view of the planting behind it. A broad gravel terrace runs in front, with a low rendered wall dividing the terrace from the informal lawn beyond. The lawn is reached down a short flight of steps, with a central circular pool at the point where four cruciform paths meet. The lawn is flanked by belts of trees and shrubs with many pines, and beyond these to west and east are further informal lawns enclosed by belts of similar planting. A rose garden lies adjacent to the north boundary. At the south-west corner is a rockery of granite rocks enclosed by shrubberies whose island beds are surrounded by gravel paths.

An aerial view of the north-west corner of the park and the adjoining church in 1937
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