Boultham Park

Description

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  • Overview
    Boultham Park Character Area comprises a public park, civic and commercial buildings and leisure facilities in the grounds of the former 19th century Boultham Hall Estate. The Character Area lies on an area of former scrub woodland and drained wetland in the Witham valley.
     
    St. Helen’s Church is the only survival of the former medieval settlement around Boultham. Although extensively remodelled in the 19th century it retains some 13th-century elements and the foundation may date from as early as the 10th or 11th century.
     
    Elements surviving from the 19th-century Boultham Hall estate include the lake of 1851, the site of Boultham Hall itself, gates, a fountain, footpaths and Home Farm. Boultham Park is now a public park with large grassed areas, ornamental woodland, a yew walk, bowling green, tennis court, children’s playground and a bandstand.
     
    From the late Inter-War Period [1919-1945] to the Modern Period [1967-2009] a number of civic and commercial buildings were built along Boultham Park Road including Parklands Hotel, Boultham Library and Boultham Medical Practice. These form part of a small commercial centre around Boultham Park Road roundabout. However, there is no urban public space near the civic and commercial buildings. There are good pedestrian connections between the park and surrounding areas in all directions.
  • Historical Development
    Most of the current townscape of Boultham Park Character Area has its origins in the 19th-century Boultham Hall estate. What remains today is the surviving part of a 1200-acre estate given by Richard Ellison to his son Lieutenant Col. R G Ellison on his marriage in 1830. The lake was designed in 1851 and Boultham Hall was rebuilt and enlarged in 1874. The site of the Hall, which was demolished in 1959, can be distinguished today as a platform surrounded by low brick terraces capped with stone coping. Other elements still visible include a gate dated 1846, stone fountain, a pair of gate lodges, gate piers of 1872 with gates dating from 1895 taken from Monks Manor, footpaths and the lake with its associated hydraulic engineering structures and sluices. Home Farm at the rear of Parklands Hotel was also part of the estate and is shown on the 1886 OS map as are some associated farm buildings which have survived. Boultham Park Road and Hall Drive were part of the Ellison family’s private lane from the High Street to Boultham Hall until the 1920s. Rookery Lane was also formerly part of Boultham Hall estate and may be along the route of a medieval road from Newark Road to Skellingthorpe linking the medieval settlements of Bracebridge and Skellingthorpe. The footbridge over the drain joining the Witham was built in 1880 and the bridge carrying Rookery Lane over Pike Drain near Boultham Park Lake dates from 1920.
     Gates and Lodge off Boultham Park Road. The lodge is built from red brick has a double gabled roof line and decorative line of brick in a contrasting colouring that forms a half circular arch around each window.
    Figure 1: Gates and Lodge off Boultham Park Road
     
    Having fallen vacant Boultham Hall was briefly used as a convalescent home for soldiers returning from WWI before the hall and its immediate surrounds were bought by Lincoln Corporation in 1929 and opened as a public park. Several elements associated with this survive, including the bandstand, footpaths and a gate connecting with St. Peters Avenue.
     Bandstand with a grassed area around it base and then a pathway circling around it with it joining onto the bandstand for access where the steps are located. Around this footpath is a bigger grassed expanse with trees shading some of the view to nearby pr
    Figure 2: Bandstand
     
    The Character Area lies on an area of former scrub woodland and drained wetland in the Witham valley. In the process of laying out Boultham Hall and grounds in the 19th century any possible remains of a medieval settlement at Boultham are likely to have been cleared away. St. Helen’s Church formed part of this settlement and although it was rebuilt in the late 19th century for the Ellisons it still contains some 13th-century elements. The foundation of the church may be as early as the 10th or 11th century. The war memorial in St. Helens Churchyard was erected in around 1858 and is a block of granite brought back from Sebastopol by Major R G Ellison in memory of the men of his company of the 47th Regiment who fell in the Crimean War.
     
    Pre-1932 small-scale commercial and housing developments on the corner of Rookery Lane and Boultham Park Road, Parklands Public House (which dates from 1938) and housing development along Rookery Lane (completed by 1950), all pushed the boundary of the grounds of Boultham Hall further to the east, away from Rookery Lane.
     
    Later 20th-century development in the Character Area has also seen a number of buildings constructed along Boultham Park Road and Boultham Park Lane on what was Boultham Hall parkland, as well as the demolition of the Hall itself. The old people’s home, between Rookery Lane and the park, and the electricity sub station were built between 1950 and 1967 while the police station on Rookery Lane, and the library and medical centre on Boultham Park Lane have all been built since 1967. Leisure facilities including a bowling club and tennis courts have also been built. The remaining Home Farm outbuildings were later used as a nursery and then a depot.
  • Urban form
    Boultham Park Character Area is on flat land close to the river Witham. The main entrance to Boultham Park is in the northwestern corner along a drive edged with grass and flowerbeds leading off Boultham Lane through iron gates. The drive heads east to the bowling green and pavilion and then to the site of former Boultham Hall, which is marked by a platform surrounded by low brick terraces. There are also pedestrian entrances beside St. Helen’s Church, as well as off Rookery Lane and off St. Peter’s Avenue.
     
    Boultham Park is characterised by the many mature and immature trees, mainly planted in groups and including some clipped yews and large numbers of oak, beech and lime. There is a yew walk in the eastern part of the park. Recreational facilities include a bowling green and tennis courts, bandstand and children’s play area and football pitch. Equipment from a 1970s ‘trimtrack’ is set around the grass outside the playground. There are many sinuous paths winding through the park, some of which are lined with trees. Most paths are tarmac; however, some around the site of the Hall are ‘crazy paving’. In the northeastern part of the park are large open grassed areas with ornamental woodland. The western boundary path is edged with grass and flower beds. The lake is 320m long and has irregular sides edged in stone with an island at the west end, fed by a small stream from the south west. There are bridges over the stream feeding the lake and over the stream linking the lake with the river. Trees – mainly oak, beech and lime surround the lake. The remains of terraces and ornamental gardens can be seen around the site of the Hall.
     Large open grassed areas with wooded edges and footpath across the middle.
    Figure 3: Large open grassed areas with wooded edges
     
    There are a number of buildings in the Boultham Park Character Area, many connected with the former Boultham Hall Estate. St. Helen’s Church is a small parish church with stained glass windows, a gabled slate roof and bell tower. The graveyard is in part bounded by stone walls and incorporates the former kitchen garden of Boultham Hall and is surrounded by mature trees. Home Farm is a two storey red-brick building with tall vertically sliding sash windows, gabled and hipped roofs of slate and red pantiles and tall red-brick chimneys. It has a partly walled garden. To the south is a two storey old people’s home in the approximate form of a curved ‘V’. It has a pitched slate roof, and redbrick/tiled/rendered facades. Adjacent to the old people’s home is a tall, long, single-storey outbuilding of red-brick with a hipped slate roof which may have been the surviving part of a building belonging to Home Farm shown on the same site on the 1886 OS map. There is a pair of semi-detached two storey gate lodges in red-brick with stone string courses at first-floor level and below the eaves, and gabled, slate roofs and tall red-brick chimneys. There is a modern bowling pavilion in Boultham Park in red-brick with a hipped slate roof, no chimneys and no decorative detailing.
     
    The north west of the Character Area is, in part, a neighbourhood centre with civic and commercial buildings, a nearby park and busy roads and pavements. The modern, large-scale, single/two-storey library and health centre have parking around them and passive frontages and backs. There is no urban public space associated with these buildings. Some of the public and commercial buildings have been built in what was the north-west part of Boultham Hall Park.
     A modern health care centre, Boultham Park Medical Practice, with parking around them and passive frontages and backs.
    Figure 4: Boultham Park Medical Practice
     
    Parklands Hotel is an Arts and Crafts style building in brown brick with heavily mullioned windows, a steeply pitched gabled roof with slate covering and tall brick chimneys. The rest of the buildings near the junction of Boultham Park Road and Rookery Lane are of red-brick and render with gabled slate roofs, mostly with no chimneys, recessed doorways and little or no decorative detailing on facades.
  • Views

    There are views of the Cathedral from Boultham Park Road and Boultham Park. Views unfold in the transition between wooded and grassed areas and views over the lake can be glimpsed between the surrounding trees. There are also views from various points across the open grassed areas to the surrounding trees.

    View of Cathedral from Boultham Park with houses and trees near the foreground.

    Fig 5 View of Cathedral from Boultham Park

  • Condition of Buildings and Streetscape
    Overall buildings and streetscape are well maintained and in good condition. Some areas of grass have been damaged by vehicles.
  • Use

    There are a variety of recreational, commercial and public uses within the Character Area.

  • Relationship to City and Surrounding Areas
    Boultham Park Character Area is a public park with some public and commercial buildings on the periphery, located nearly 3km south west of the city centre and surrounded by residential suburbs. There are good road links to the rest of the city via Boultham Park Road, Skellingthorpe Road and Rookery Lane and excellent pedestrian access to the park from nearby houses. The park is overlooked by the rear of houses to the north, west and south.
  • Key Townscape Characteristics
    ·          Public park, civic and commercial buildings, and leisure facilities in grounds of former 19th-century Boultham Hall estate
    ·          Surviving 19th-century elements include lake of 1851, site of 1874 Boultham Hall, gates, fountain, footpaths and Home Farm
    ·          The park now also includes bowling green, tennis courts, children’s playground, bandstand
    ·          Previously this was an area of scrubby woodland and drained wetland in the Witham valley.
    ·          St. Helen’s Church is the only survival of the former medieval settlement, although remodelled in 19th century it retains 13th-century elements and the foundation may date from as early as 10th or 11th century
    ·          From late Inter-War Period to Modern Period a number of buildings were built along Boultham Park Road including Parklands Hotel, Boultham Library and Boultham Medical Practice
    ·          These buildings form part of a small commercial centre around Boultham Park Road roundabout
    ·          There is no urban public space near the civic and commercial buildings
    ·          Good pedestrian connections to surrounding areas in all directions
    ·          Mix of open grass and ornamental woodland