img 3393 512x768Client: Lichfield District Counciljoint bali award image
Project: Beacon Park and Minster Pool
Value: £3.5m

 

   

 "This extensive historic park refurbishment project formed an integral part of Lichfield District Council's strategic plan and required the skills of a specialist in the field of historic landscape restoration.  BALI contractor, P Casey (Land Reclamation) Ltd have dealt sensitively in restoring elements of the historic parks and open spaces running through the heart of the Catherdral City.  Restoration works were carried out to the 13th century Minster Pool and historic 19th and 20th century features of Beacon Park including reconstruction of an ornate Victorian fountain, Memorial Garden, stone balustrading and gates, extensive pathway resurfacing and refurbishment of the historic 'Speakers Corner'.  The care taken by this BALI contractor and attention to historic detail has been truly outstanding.  More modern 20th century elements of Beacon Park have also been sensitively refurbished to provide a new children's play area, horticultural education area, kiosk, cafe and pavilion.  The Heritage Lottery funded restoration of Lichfield's historic parks was both complex and challenging and demanded real expertise and a collaborative approach of all parties involved.  The result is an outstanding example of a revitalised green city space with social improvement and involvement for all age groups and backgrounds at its core."

Comments from the BALI 2012 judges.

 

November 2011 saw the completion of the prestigious Beacon Park and Minster Pool Project for the City of Lichfield.  Located in the city centre, in the shadow of the 14th Century Cathedral, it is arguably one of the most interesting schemes in P Casey (Land Reclamation) Ltd's ever expanding portfolio of multi-faceted restoration schemes.

The £3.5m project required hard and soft landscaping, monument and balustrade stonework restoration and the construction of three new buildings.  A Sports Pavilion for the Bowling Club, a 1400 sq ft Cafeteria and an extension to a sports facility to provide offices, changing rooms, and shower block were built in the park following demolition of existing buildings.  A Children's themed adventure play ground was also upgraded and extended with new equipment and layouts.

The Minster Pool is a significant landmark in the City located next to the Cathedral and restoration works provided new paving, stone walling and extensive metal fencing around its perimeter.

One of the more sensitive parts of the project was the restoration of the Remembrance Gardens in a secluded but picturesque setting next to the Cathedral and bordered by the Minster Pool. It required careful restoration of stone balustrades, the creation of a new entrance with architectural metal fencing and gates, new footpaths flower beds and lawns. A key element of this part of the project was the restoration of the War Memorial which is the annual focus of the British Legions Festival of Remembrance each November. The works were re-sequenced within the programme to provide a fully restored Garden in time for the event.

An interesting aspect of this project was the local archaeological metal detectors group who requested permission from our site management to maintain a periodic archaeological scan of the park during excavation and landscaping works.

The Park is of major historical interest  and there were a number of interesting ‘finds’ including Napoleonic Coins, musket balls and bullets, presumably from some medieval scrap, and Cathedral Tokens which dated back to the 13 and 14 Centuries. Military badges and Buckles were also discovered along with old watch parts and a myriad of clay pipes, coins and personal artefacts dropped or lost by people who have lived and worked in and around the Cathedral over the centuries.

The soft landscaping throughout the park comprised the creation of lawns and flower beds interspersed with newly planted trees, shrubs and bushes to provide a colourful array during the summer months.

Water features and fountains were also part of the project, being completely upgraded and refitted with the flower beds and stone work around them being restored also.

This quality project is just one of what is now a long line of high profile prestigious schemes in company with the £4.5m World Heritage Site ,Roberts Park, in Bradford; Sheffield’s £2.6m Weston Park; Preston’s £4m Avenham and Miller Parks; and the currently running and equally prestigious £4m Stamford Park in Ashton.