This early print from about 10 years after the opening of the park in 1895 shows 4 mature trees that were in situ when the
park was landscaped. The children close to the trees are in hooded gowns indicating they may have been from the Muller
Orphanage in Ashley Down. More old images can be seen here.
By the time the park had opened much of the housing in the area had been built. The picture shows houses in Leopold and
A Mr. Derham, probably Henry, a boot manufacture, had acquired land in the 1870s and then created lease hold plots
for housing development. He was not the first to build being proceeded by Samuel Colemen.. To promote his entrepreneurial
activities Mr. Derham named the area the St. Andrews Estate . It crossed parish boundaries and now is in two council wards.
Lavars 1874 map of Bristol Suburbs shows the area as open fields stretching to Muller's Orphanages and beyond. The first
houses were built in North Road and Belmont Road around 1878. By 1884 when the first ordnance survey map was produced
more of the area had been developed and roads such as Effingham laid out ready for house building to commence. By 1900 most
of St. Andrews had been built.
In 1882 the Sanitary Committee to the Local Board of Health received an offer from Mr. Derham of 22.5 acres of land
at £550 per acre to create a park. This was almost near the cost of building land and rejected the offer. However in 1889
rate payers petitioned the Board of Health for a park and eventually the City Council purchased 10.75 acres at £650 per acre.
There were complaints that if the Council had not dragged its feet residents would have had a park twice the size.
The conveyance of the land was in December 1890 and work began to clear and then infill the quarry that was located adjacent
to the Effingham Road entrance. Seats were purchased and a tender of £1,489 and 8 shillings was won by a Mr. Forse to erect
the boundary fence and walls . In the end £6,190 was spent on layout and a care takers appointed at 22 shillings a week.
On the 2nd may 1895 The Western Daily Press reported the formal opening. The Bristol Times remarked in its coverage
that the history of the park was one of “ leisurely action on the part of the Authorities” and complained of the “depository
of much rubbish over three years after purchase”. Although the water fountain and bandstand have gone and features have
been added the park today remains remarkably the same as it was in 1895.