1a Clarence Park Clarence Road, St Albans AL1 4NF, England
Built during the Victorian era, Clarence Park is still popular for sports and leisure among St Albans residents. The layout has been largely unchanged since it first opened, and is home to a rich variety of trees, plants and flower beds.
The Park was opened by the Duke of Cambridge in 1894, accompanied by celebrations across the City that were” … not dampened but not spoiled by heavy rain” according to Janet Ouston. Clarence Park was a gift to the people of St Albans from Sir John Blundell Maple MP, owner of Maple & Co, the iconic furniture shop in London’s Tottenham Court Road that was popular well into the 20th century.
As well as being a local leisure ground, Clarence Park is also the home ground of St Albans City F.C. and has been since the club was formed in 1908. In 1894, the same year that the park was opened, the grounds hosted the city’s first official football match.
The park is made up of a 16-acre municipal sports ground with adjoining 9-acre public park and pleasure ground. One of the city’s key green spaces, Clarence Park is often described as being a delight for people of all ages and a home for various sports in the area.
Run by the St Albans City and District Council, the park is still divided into its two distinct compartments, although has matured since it’s opening, gaining an abundance of trees and shrubs, but the layout remains virtually unchanged. Original features such as the Park Keeper’s Lodge, Cricket pavilion and timber-built entrance kiosks all remain to this day.
Despite having such a long lifespan, the park is still well maintained as well as being full of a wide array of flora and fauna. The council works well to keep it looking its best, as well as a safe and pleasant environment for local children to let off some steam. Situated near the main railway station and a key bus interchange, Clarence Park is also not far from the city centre and has good transport connections with the surrounding area.