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Ropner Park in Stockton given Grade II * status by English Heritage
A PARK in Teesside has been named as being of national importance after it was awarded Grade II* listed status.
Ropner Park in Stockton has been registered as an historic park by English Heritage following a major ten-year restoration.
The park was awarded a £3.5m Heritage Lottery grant for the work, which was undertaken by the Friends of Ropner Park and Stockton Borough Council, and completed in 2008.
Councillor Mike Smith, cabinet member for regeneration at the council, said: “The Grade II* Listing means the Park will continue to have special protection and remain as a place for everyone to enjoy – in line with the wishes of Major Robert Ropner who bought the land over a hundred years ago for the people of Stockton.”
In 1890, Stockton-on-Tees Town Council appointed a committee to consider the purchase of land for a public park.
The Council received an offer from Major (later Sir) Robert Ropner of Preston Hall, a businessman who agreed to donate £8,250 for the purchase of Hartburn Fields as long as the Council agreed to lay out the park ‘tastefully’ and would ‘keep it forever’ for the people of Stockton.
The refurbishment, completed in 2008, returned the park to its former glory and saw the restoration of many original features in the park, including the fountain, lake, bandstand and tree avenues.
There is also a new pavilion, play area, tennis courts and art work and flower displays.
English Heritage said the park was a good example of a late Victorian municipal park, with its design, structures and planting almost unchanged from the original layout of 1893.
Brian Scrafton, Chairman of Friends of Ropner Park, said: “I’m so pleased that Ropner Park has been recognised with the new grading of national importance.
“Having lived in Stockton for over forty years, it is wonderful to see the park restored to its former magnificence.”
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