Magnificent Edwardian restoration for Valley Gardens gates
The Friends of Valley Gardens have done so much in recent years to improve one of the town's most popular outdoors spaces but it now has another target in its sights.
After its recent success with 40s Day, it is now celebrating a new achievement - the addition of historic Edwardian grandeur to one of its main entrances.
The Friends have just been granted planning permission by Harrogate Borough Council to create the new King Edward VII Memorial Gate on the south-east side of the gardens.
The idea was sparked by the sentiment that the current entrance at the junction of Valley Drive and Harlow Moor Drive simply deserves better.
At the moment it is marked with just one lonely, stone pillar.
The proposed gate posts originally stood on King’s Road, opposite Cheltenham Parade and gave access to the old Spa Gardens which later became the Rose Gardens.
The posts, together with cast iron gates and railings, date back to 1911 when they were donated to the people of Harrogate by William Henry Baxter to commemmorate the death of King Edward VII who died in 1910.
It’s taken Friends of Valley Gardens some effort to track down these historic fixtures and fittings after they became seperated when they were removed to make way for the construction of Exhibition Hall M in the early 1990s to support Harrogate’s conference trade.
But the hard work does not end there for FOVG. To complete the new gate, they need now to raise £60,000.
Other projects the FOVG are currently dedicating themselves to include the restoration and extension of the Japanese Garden.
In addition, the Old Magnesia Well Pump Room in the Valley Gardens was completed last year and opened by Malcolm Neesam.
The building is now an Information and Education Centre, where the public can read about Harrogate’s spa history and the development of the Valley Gardens.