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History of St Anns Well's Gardens, Hove
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History of St Anns Well's Gardens, Hove


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A teachers resource exploring the history of St Annes Well Gardens in Hove, East Sussex. …

A teachers resource exploring the history of St Annes Well Gardens in Hove, East Sussex.
Using archive images ,the pack is aimed primarily at KS1 & 2 children.

There are also accompanying resources, another presentation exploring the legend behind the parks name and short excerpts of early film made in the park.

Published in: Education

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  • 1. St Ann’s Well Gardens Hove
  • 2. In 2008 St Ann’s Well Garden is celebrating its hundreth birthday. The park was opened as a public garden on May 23rd in 1908.But for nearly a hundred years before that, it was a private pleasure garden, visited mainly by people who wanted to drink the water from the garden’s spring.
  • 3. The spring was known in the early days as a chaleybeate.* It became fashionable to come to Brighton and Hove to take the sea air and drink the sea water. Visitors were recommended to go to St Ann’s Well as its water was thought to be health giving.* ‘Chaleybeate’ means a spring whose water has iron in it.
  • 4. The owner of the park decided to build a well around the spring to make it nicer for more visitors to come and take the water. Later a Pump House was built.
  • 5. In the 1880s the new owner of the park decided to try to make the park popular again. He improved the gardens, renovated the Pump House and held a musical tea party.A legend was told about how the park got its name.
  • 6. George Albert SmithIn 1892, a man called George Albert Smith rented the park from its owner. He was very interested in photography and making films. He turned part of the Pump House into a laboratory and made many short films there.
  • 7. As well as using the park to make his films, George Smith put on lots of activities to raise money to make films. These were very expensive to make.Some of these attractions included a monkey house, a gypsy fortune teller and a hermit’s cave.
  • 8. Another of these activities was releasing huge balloons. Sometimes they broke free of their rope and flew away. These balloon ascents attracted huge crowds.In 1894 nearly 4000 people came to watch a balloon release.Later on people went up with the balloons. Sometimes they went so high that the people would parachute out of the balloon.
  • 9. In 1908, the owner of the park, Mr. D’Avigdor Goldsmid offered Hove Council the opportunity to buy the park. There was a party to celebrate its opening on May 24th. The mayor gave a speech and planted an oak tree by the Pump House.
  • 10. This is a photograph taken on the opening day of the park in 1908. It shows the mayor arriving in Furze Hill.What is different from how this road looks today?Is there anything that is the same?
  • 11. Here is a ticket from around the time of the parks opening. It lists some of the things that you could do in the park then. How are they different from the things you can do in the park today?
  • 12. In 1953, it was decided to build a garden for the blind on the site of the old croquet lawns. The plants were chosen carefully because of their scent. A dovecote and a shelter were included in the design. There is also a beautiful big willow tree in the gardens.
  • 13. This is an invitation for the park’s centenary celebrations.Which attractions are different from those on the opening party a hundred years ago?