‘Edward Kemp’s Liverpool parks’

‘How to Lay Out a Very Large Garden Indeed: Edward Kemp’s Liverpool parks, their history and legacy’

Garden History, 46: supplement 1 Autumn 2018

In 1850, in the wake of two severe cholera epidemics, the Liverpool Improvement
Committee advertised for plans for the laying out of new public parks across the city. In
1865, the Liverpool Improvement Act finally enabled the corporation to raise the five
hundred thousand pounds needed to realize its ambitious vision. Edward Kemp was
to be a key figure in the resultant ‘ribbon of parks’. As the designer of both Newsham
and Stanley Parks, his style and approach have defined large swathes of the Liverpool
landscape for nearly a hundred and fifty years. This paper explores the design and history
of Kemp’s Liverpool parks and their influence on the wider public parks movement. It
concludes with an examination of their social, environmental and economic legacy, and
the challenge of preserving and managing these landscapes in the twenty-first century.

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