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Speculations and Proposals

It is fascinating to consider how very different the Park might appear today had some of the early visions for its development been pursued.

In 1800, during her son's minority, the 3rd Duchess of Newcastle under Lyne considered disposing of the Park. Her agents advised against a general sale, believing it would reduce land values in Nottingham. They recommended that the Park should be retained for the heir's interest, as it 'makes upwards of four guineas per acre and is every year improving'. 

Section of letter advising 3rd Duchess against sale of the Park

With respect to Nottm Park I beg leave to state that if it was now offered to be Sold, it would greatly injure the Sale of the Building Land and Houses in Nottingham...

Section of letter advising 3rd Duchess against sale of the Park

 

Had she not followed their preferred strategy, a gradual sale of small lots on the periphery, the Park might have been very different - perhaps even swallowed up by industrial and commercial development.

Two decades later, when a programme for the residential development of the Park was being considered, the 4th Duke turned to the architect P F Robinson (1776-1858) for a design.  

Proposed plan by PF Robinson

Proposed plan by PF Robinson

Robinson suggested a grid pattern, based on the London squares of John Nash. Early development according to Robinson's plan was completed on the Park edges, but work was halted after the burning of the Castle in 1831. Had that not happened, would the Park today have squares instead of circuses?

T C Hine was responsible for the conversion of the Castle into a museum for Nottingham. An early 1872 sketch shows his design for an ornate square tower at the centre of the building - a structure which would have had a striking impact on Nottingham's skyline.

T C Hine’s drawing of the proposed Castle Museum

T C Hine’s drawing of the proposed Castle Museum

More: Nottingham Park - A Timeline

Nottingham Park: From Ducal Estate to Urban Residence home 

Manuscripts and Special Collections

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