West Park is built on an area of old marshland, known as Hungry Leas in the 16th century, and later called Broad Meadows. For over 50 years it was the site of Wolverhampton’s racecourse. In 1878, the lease for the site, which belonged to Lord Darlington, ended and Wolverhampton Council acquired the lease and later purchased the site. West Park, originally called the People's Park was built on the site. The park covers about 50 acres. Because of the boggy nature of the land, a lake was essential to provide suitable drainage.

On the 12th March, 1879, landscape gardeners were invited to compete for a £50 prize for the layout of the park. The winner was Richard Hartland Vertegans, of Chad Valley Nurseries, Edgbaston. The layout had to include an ornamental lake covering 8 acres, whilst 12 acres had to be available for volunteer drill, archery, cricket and bowls. The park was officially opened on the 6th June, 1881 by the Mayor of Wolverhampton, Alderman John Jones.

Southgate Lodge and the main entrance.

The view across the lake towards St. Peter's Church and the Town Hall. The cast iron bandstand on the opposite side of the lake was given to the town by the long serving M.P., Rt. Hon. Charles Pelham Villiers, on the 29th May, 1882.

A view from the lakeside looking towards the conservatory.

The view across the lake to the cast iron bridge.

Another view across the ever-popular lake, looking towards the conservatory.

The lake and the lakeside pavilion, which was built in about 1881.

Another view across the lake to the conservatory, with some of the many boats that were once a common site on the lake.

A final view of the lake with some of the many swans and geese that live there.

The Conservatory in about 1905. It was designed by T. H. Mawson of Windermere and built jointly by Richardson & Sons of Darlington and Henry Gough of Wolverhampton. It was built at a cost of £1,500, which came from the proceeds of the 1893 Floral Fête. The building was officially opened in July 1896 by the widow of former Mayor, Alderman Samuel Dickinson.

Another early view of the conservatory.

A busy day at the conservatory.

An old Christmas postcard.

The front entrance to the conservatory.

A view of the conservatory from about 1930.

An early view of the interior.

Another view of the interior.

The conservatory from across the lake.

The cast iron bridge over the lake. Built in 1880.

Flower beds in 1914.

An early 20th century flower bed.

Another early 20th century flower bed.

A flower bed from World War One.

A flower bed from 1907.

The Dell in the early 20th century.

Another view of The Dell.

Flower beds in 1911.

A coronation flower bed, for George V.

A view across the flower beds looking towards the clock tower, which was given by Councillor John Ross in 1883.

In the distance is the statue to Charles Pelham Villiers, MP for Wolverhampton from 1835 until the division of the Borough in 1885. The inscription on the front reads: "Charles Pelham Villiers, PC, MP, Born 3rd January 1802, died 16th January 1898, aged 92 years". The inscription on the back reads: "This statue was erected by public subscription in recognition of the eminent services rendered by Mr.Villiers to his country, especially in connection with the repeal of the corn laws". The statue originally stood on Snow Hill.

The Erratic Boulder, a huge slab of Felsite from the Arenig Mountains in Wales. The metal plaque on the boulder reads: "Block of Felsite, carried during the glacial epoch from Arenig, Merionethshire. Found in Oak St. Wolverhampton in 1881".

Looking across the gardens at the southern end of the park.

A final view of the lake, the conservatory and the bridge.

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