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Pearson Park


Pearson Park

Pearson Park lies about 1 mile (1.5km) northwest of the City centre and was the first public or people's park to be opened in Kingston upon Hull. The land for the Park was provided in 1860 by Zachariah Charles Pearson (1821-91) to mark his first term as mayor of Hull. He shrewdly retained c.12 acres (5 Ha) of land surrounding the Park, however, for building villa residences. Two years later though his shrewdness failed him when he bought, on credit, a large fleet of ships and attempted to run arms through the Federal blockade during the American Civil War (1861-65). The venture failed and all his vessels were captured. Financially ruined, Pearson resigned half way through his second term as mayor and spent the last 29 years of his life in obscurity, living in a modest terraced house in a quiet corner of the Park which bore his name.

The Park, which covers c.23 acres (9 Ha) of land, was designed by James Craig Niven (1828-81), curator of Hull's Botanic Gardens. Features of the Park include a small serpentine lake, a broad carriage drive running around the perimeter, and a Victorian style conservatory (rebuilt in 1930) - all set in well maintained grounds with plenty of trees and shrubs.

The main entrance to the Park, at the end of Pearson Avenue on Beverley Road, is through an elaborate cast-iron gateway created by Young & Pool in c.1863. The gateway, along with several other structures within the Park, is now listed as a building of special architectural/historic interest. The other listed structures include:

  • the east entrance lodge (No.1) built in 1860-1
  • an ornate cast-iron canopied drinking fountain erected in 1864
  • the statue of Queen Victoria created by Thomas Earle in 1861
  • the statue of Prince Albert created by Thomas Earle in 1868
  • the Pearson memorial - an iron-stone monolith featuring a marble relief carving created by William Day Keyworth junior in 1897
  • the cupola from Hull's demolished Town Hall built in 1862-66 (erected here in 1912)
  • 3 surrounding villas (Nos. 43, 50 & 54) built in the 1860s

Queen Victoria Statue in Pearsons Park

The land reserved for villa residences began to be built upon as soon as the Park was laid out and most of them still remain to be seen, including No.32, the top floor flat of this University-owned house being for 18 years (1956-74) the home of the poet Philip Larkin.

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