Hartsholme Park

Description

Use the open/close headers to view different sections of the Character Area Statement. for the area you are in. A full copy of the statement can be downlaoded from the 'Documents'  section of each Character Area.

  • Overview
    This Character Area is a country park with a large lake, lawn, woods, grassland and many paths. It is well used for recreation, with a visitor centre, café, caravan park, parking area, play area and playing fields. The lake (especially near the new ‘heritage’ railings), café, visitor centre and nearby play area provide a focal point. This is also the location of the former 19th-century Hartsholme Hall, traces of which can still be seen in the landscape.
     
    Surviving landscape elements include many features relating to the Hall such as the lake, stables, boathouse, statues, and gardens. Surviving aspects of the formal planted gardens of the Hall include the yew trees of the ladies’ walk and dense woodland around the lake with many trees of both native and imported varieties. The current character is also influenced by features relating to the draining of the wetlands and the development of Lincoln’s water supply in the 19th century such as the reservoir (now the lake) and drainage channels. The line of the medieval road between Boultham and Skellingthorpe, now Skellingthorpe Road, is also visible in some places.
     
    In addition to the woodland around the lake, there are other areas of woodland that include birch, oak and willow trees. Further south there are areas of acidic grassland, for example in ‘The Meadow’. A variety of wetland species line the edge of the lake, the dykes and other damp areas.
     
    This is a key green space and recreational facility for the city, especially for residents in the neighbouring areas of Hartsholme to the east and Birchwood to the west. Good pedestrian access is provided to these residential areas and there is vehicle and public transport access from the rest of the city is via Skellingthorpe Road.
     
    Together with Swanholme Lakes to the south and the Skewbridge Character Area to the north, Hartsholme Park forms part of an important continuous area of green space stretching from the southern city boundary to the northern boundary, also taking in Burton Fields, Boultham Mere and West Common.
     
    Within the site there are important views both across and around the lake. The nearby high-rise apartment block, Jarvis House, is visible from several places in the Park.
  • Historical Development
    Hartsholme was designated a Country Park by the Countryside Commission in 1974. Its current character is strongly influenced by the surviving garden landscaping and buildings of the former Hartsholme Hall, which was built in 1862 for the industrialist Joseph Shuttleworth. The architect was Henry F Goddard. The grounds were laid out by the important 19th-century landscape architect Edward Milner and included a lake, imported and native trees and shrubs, yew trees forming the Ladies’ Walk, a yew circle, a small crescent-shaped pond and a ha-ha, all of which still exist in various forms, today. A bridge was built between 1888 and 1907 on the site of a former ferry by the boathouse. Surviving buildings and structures include the boathouse (built in 1881 and bearing the Shuttleworth Crescent), stables, a lodge along the track leading to Doddington Road, balustrades and steps, and a number of monuments including the obelisk on the north side of the lake. The site of another former lodge can still be seen in the north-west corner of the park on Skellingthorpe Road. Hartsholme Hall itself was demolished in 1951 after being purchased by Lincoln City Council. Its location can still be determined from the layout of the surrounding gardens and surviving balustrades and steps, as well as differing ground levels seen on the lawns. More recent developments include the café, caravan park, playing fields and play area. What was probably the stable block has been converted into a visitor centre.
     The Visitor Centre at Hartsholme Country Park, which is likely to have been built as the stable block to Hartsholme Hall.
    Figure 1 The Visitor Centre at Hartsholme Country Park which is likely to have been built as the stable block to Hartsholme Hall
     
    Although the character of the area is strongly influenced by these later developments, it has also been influenced by its earlier history. For much of the medieval era, as well as earlier periods, the area probably consisted of low-lying wetland together with scrubby woodland on higher ground. Pigs may have grazed in the woodlands which were probably also used to provide products such as firewood, building timber, bark, charcoal and bracken. Native oak and birch woods can be seen in the area today.
     
    The line of Skellingthorpe Road may date from the High Medieval Era [850-1350 AD] and may have been part of the road from the medieval settlement at Bracebridge to Skellingthorpe. It is possible that some of the trees along Skellingthorpe Road may pre-date the 19th century.
     
    Between 1804 and 1816 the land was drained by dykes and enclosed by Lord Monson, often using quickset hedges. Although the area changed significantly with the arrival of Hartsholme Hall and gardens, the influence of a few field boundaries can still be seen in the landscape. The path towards Jarvis House lies along the line of an earlier field boundary, as does a drain in Baker’s Close and another across the centre of the southern section of the park.
     
    The lake itself predates Hartsholme Hall and was created in 1848 as a reservoir (by building a long brick dam, which still survives, parallel to Skellingthorpe Road) to help supply Lincoln with drinking water. It was fed by Prial Brook and the water flows out via drainage channels towards the Catchwater Drain to the north.
  • Urban form
    Hartsholme Country Park is well used for recreation and includes a visitor centre, café, caravan park, parking area and playing field. In terms of landscape and ecology, Hartsholme Country Park is made up a single large water body (the lake), several areas of woodland and a variety of grassland areas ranging from acidic grassland to regularly mown areas of recreational grassland including the playing field. The lake (especially by the new ‘heritage’ railings), café and visitor centre, and nearby play area together provide a focal point. This is also the location of the former hall, traces of which can still be seen in the landscape.
     One of several areas of mature woodland within the park
    Figure 2 One of several areas of mature woodland within the park
     
    The park supports a great variety of flora and fauna. The dense woodland around the lake includes a number of exotic tree and shrub species from when the area was planted as part of the formal gardens for Hartsholme Hall. Along the water’s edge can be found wetland species such as skullcap and gypsywort. Away from the water’s edge, in shaded ditches and ponds within the woodland, are many other wetland species including pendulous sedge, floating sweet-grass and water forget-me-not. In addition to common native species such as willow and beech there are many interesting woodland species that include giant fescue, broad buckler-fern and greater stitchwort.
     
    The areas of mown grassland are less interesting botanically but the acidic grassland that occurs towards the middle and southern end of the area, for example in ‘The Meadow’, contains species such as wavy hair-grass, harebell and field wood-rush. There are also smaller areas of scrub containing species such as oak and broom.
     Acidic grassland in ‘The Meadow’ with birch woodland behind
    Figure 3 Acidic grassland in ‘The Meadow’ with birch woodland behind
     
    Fauna in Hartsholme Country Park includes species of reptiles, birds and bats. For example, there are common toads, grass snakes, common lizards, birds such as spotted woodpeckers and goosander, and several varieties of bats like noctule, pipistrelle and whiskered bats. Spotted woodpeckers in particular are an elusive species and are only known to be present at two other sites in Lincoln.
     
    On the western boundary of Hartsholme Country Park, separated from the park itself by a drainage ditch and adjacent to housing off Fulmar Road, is an area of woodland that supports oak, birch, willow and bramble, as well as a substantial amount of rhododendron. However, along the eastern edge of the drain and in a series of damper depressions nearby, there is an exceptional range of wetland flora species including velvet bent, sphagnum moss, yellow loosestrife, bog stitchwort, and yellow iris.
  • Views
    There are important views both across the lake and along its sides. The nearby high-rise apartment block, Jarvis House, can be seen in many places in the Character Area. It provides a useful means of orientation in some areas where landmarks are limited.
     View of Jarvis House from Hartsholme park.
    Figure 4 Although the park has an open, rural character, views on to Jarvis House are a reminder of the park’s proximity to built up areas of the city
  • Condition of Buildings and Streetscape
    Hartsholme Country Park is well cared for by a team of Rangers from the City of Lincoln Council and operates successfully as a country park. Recent attractive additions to the park are the ‘heritage’ railings on part of the lakeside that were designed, in part, by local people. However, there are indications of vandalism in the park, including previous fires. Some buildings, monuments and paths are also in poor condition, possibly in some cases due to increasing visitor pressure.
    Features from when the lake was used as a boating lake for Hartsholme Hall, which have survived but several are in a fairly poor condition.
    Figure 5 Many features from when the lake was used as a boating lake for Hartsholme Hall have survived but several are in a fairly poor condition
  • Use
    Hartsholme Country Park is well used for recreation and education by nearby residents, as well as people from the wider city and beyond. The function of the park is also to protect and enhance existing habitats. It has a large lake, lawns and play areas, woods, grassland and many paths. It also has a visitor centre, café, a caravan park, parking area and playing fields.
  • Relationship to City and Surrounding Areas
    Hartsholme Country Park is approximately 4 km south west of the city centre. It is a key green space and recreational facility for the city and provides an important recreational amenity for residents in neighbouring housing estates, particularly Hartsholme to the east and Birchwood to the west. Good pedestrian access is provided to the housing estates and vehicle access to the rest of the city is via Skellingthorpe Road. There is also a bus service from the city centre.
     
    Together with Swanholme Lakes to the south and the Skewbridge Character Area to the north, Hartsholme Country Park forms part of an important continuous area of green space stretching from the southern city boundary to the northern boundary, also taking in Burton Fields, Boultham Mere and West Common.
  • Key Townscape Characteristics
    ·          Country park with a large lake, lawn, woods, grassland and many paths, which is well used for recreation, with a visitor centre, café, caravan park, parking area, play area and playing fields.
    ·          The lake (especially near the new ‘heritage’ railings), café and visitor centre, and nearby play area provide a focal point. This is also the location of the former 19th-century Hartsholme Hall, traces of which can still be seen in the landscape.
    ·          Former wetlands, drained by a network of drains in the early nineteenth century
    ·          Surviving landscape elements from earlier periods also include:
    o         Lake, stables, boathouse, statues, and gardens, including the yew trees of the Ladies’ Walk and many imported and native trees and shrubs, from the Hartsholme Hall grounds
    o         Reservoir (now the lake) and drainage channels from 19th century water supply system for Lincoln
    o         Drainage channels from the drainage of wetlands in the early 19th-century
    o         The line of the medieval road between Boultham and Skellingthorpe, now Skellingthorpe Road
    ·          The dense woodland around the lake includes a number of exotic tree and shrub species from when the area was part of the formal gardens for Hartsholme Hall.
    ·          There are also other areas of woodland, including birch, oak and willow
    ·          To the south of the Character Area there are areas of acidic grassland, in ‘The Meadow’ for example
    ·          Along the edge of the lake, and along dykes and other damp areas, there is a variety of wetland species
    ·          Key green space and recreational facility for the city
    ·          Provides an important recreational amenity for residents in the neighbouring housing estates, particularly Hartsholme to the east and Birchwood to the west
    ·          Good pedestrian access is provided to residential housing estates to the east and west, and vehicle access to the rest of the city is via Skellingthorpe Road
    ·          Together with Swanholme Lakes to the south and the Skewbridge Character Area to the north, Hartsholme Park forms part of an important continuous area of green space stretching from the southern city boundary to the northern boundary. It also includes Burton Fields, Boultham Mere and West Common and extends to just south west of the city centre.
    ·          There are important views across the lake and along the lakesides. The nearby high-rise apartment block, Jarvis House, can be seen in many places in the Character Area.