The Buxton Pavilion Gardens stretch over 23 acres of land located in the centre of the ‘Buxton’ city in ‘Derbyshire’. The park is mostly family oriented, offering relaxing walks, two unique play areas, a mini train ride and various live open-air bands. The natural landscape is full of plant life, ranging from flower plants to bushes to towering trees. Visitors may occasionally catch sight of some native inhabitants of the lands, either perched atop trees or lurking in the bushes. Also found here are various water bodies including streams, a lake and a waterfall.
These Gardens are of Victorian Heritage and listed among ‘Grade II’ buildings in the UK. The restoration of the gardens in 2004, a seven-year project, received funding from the ‘Heritage Lottery Fund’. The entire project cost up to 4.5 million pounds. The Gardens secured the ‘Heritage Green Flag’ award for five consecutive years and won the ‘Green Heritage’ award four years in a row.
The Pavilion Gardens annually attract over one million visitors. The ‘Pavilion Cafe’ which seats 232, the ‘Coffee Bar’ with trained baristas and the ‘Art Gallery’, showcasing some of the best artwork within the region, are among its many attractions. In addition to these, the gardens grounds are used to host many fairs and events. The ‘Octagon Hall’ and the ‘Garden Marquee’ are two open plan areas available to banquet and conference organisers. ‘The Pavilion Arts Centre’ offers state-of-the-art facilities and the ‘Boardroom’ is equipped with the latest IT equipment.
‘The Pavilion Gardens’ are a beautiful example of the Buxton’s rich Victorian heritage. With the building of the railway and connecting it to the city in 1863, it connected Buxton with the emerging industrial towns around Britain. New hotels and restaurants were on the rise. It was then that the ‘Seventh Duke of Devonshire’ suggested to the citizens the idea of investing in a company that aims to develop Buxton.
‘Sir Joseph Paxton’ and his apprentice ‘Edward Milner’ were the first designers of The Pavilion Gardens. Some of these architects’ creations include famous ‘Mentmore Towers’, the ‘Crystal Palace’ and ‘Tatton Park’. The Gardens opened to the public in August 1871, allowed many people to invest in its improvements. The Duke at that time donated 9 acres of land to be used solely for recreational purposes. Other Ducal gifts were offered in the following years until the Gardens grew to its present area of 23 acres.
The Buxton architect; ‘Robert Rippon Duke’ designed The ‘Concert Hall’ which is currently called the ‘Octagon Hall’. ‘The Pavilion Theatre’, ‘The Paxton Suite’ and ‘The Playhouse’ are some other additions which followed. ‘The Pavilion Theatre’ was later extended to include the ‘Opera House’ which is one of the 17 remaining landmarks of Frank Matcham’s design.
The Buxton Corporation acquired all the property linked to the Gardens in 1927 and managed it since. A fire erupted in 1983 destroying the lounge area resulting in the massive restoration project of 2004.