Wavertree Playground

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Main gates of Wavertree Playground on Grant Avenue Grant Avenue gates to Wavertree Playground.jpg
Main gates of Wavertree Playground on Grant Avenue

Coordinates: 53°23′41″N2°55′16″W / 53.3947°N 2.9211°W / 53.3947; -2.9211 Wavertree Playground, also known locally as The Mystery, was one of the first purpose-built public playgrounds in the United Kingdom. It is based in the Wavertree area of Liverpool, England.

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.

Playground Place with a specific design for children to be able to play there

A playground, playpark, or play area is a place specifically designed to enable children to play there. It is typically outdoors. While a playground is usually designed for children, some target other age groups. Berlin's Preußenpark for example is designed for people aged 70 or higher. A playground might exclude children below a certain age.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.


In May 1895, a stately home called "The Grange" was demolished and it looked inevitable that the estate it was based within would be used as building for the increasing suburbs of Liverpool. Much to the surprise of Liverpool society, it was however announced that an anonymous donor had purchased the Grange estate together with some adjoining properties, and was presenting the whole 108 acres (0.44 km2) to the City of Liverpool.

The donor had levelled and grassed the area – eradicating the ornamental lake that was once a feature of the grounds – and suggested the name 'Wavertree Playground'. It was to be a venue for organised sports, and a place for children from the city's public schools to run about in, not a park for 'promenading' in the Victorian tradition. He expressed the hope that the City Council "might approve of giving it a fair trial for this purpose ... before appropriating it for any other use".[ this quote needs a citation ]

The mysterious donor's offer was accepted by the council; the playground was opened by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool amid great celebrations on 7 September 1895. There was a march past of 12,000 children, after which, the Daily Post reported, "the children were liberally regaled with cakes and milk". Juvenile sports, a gymnastics exhibition and Morris dancing followed, and finally "for upwards of two hours, the sky was brilliant" with a fireworks display watched by an estimated 60,000 people.

The office of Lord Mayor of Liverpool has existed in one form or another since the foundation of Liverpool as a borough by the Royal Charter of King John in 1207, simply being referred to as the Mayor of Liverpool. The current Lord Mayor of Liverpool is the Right Worshipful Councillor Christine Banks who has held the post since May 2018. The most prominent Mayors were the Stanleys of Knowsley, of which Sir Thomas Stanley and the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 16th and 18th Earls of Derby have held this office since ancient times. The Molyneuxs of Sefton have also held this office on numerous occasions over the centuries: Sir Richard Molyneux, his grandson Sir Richard Molyneux Baronet, the 1st Viscount Molyneux and the 7th Earl of Sefton.

The Liverpool Post was a newspaper published by Trinity Mirror in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. The newspaper and its website ceased publication on 19 December 2013.

Morris dance A form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music

Morris dance is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers, usually wearing bell pads on their shins. Implements such as sticks, swords and handkerchiefs may also be wielded by the dancers. In a small number of dances for one or two people, steps are near and across a pair of clay tobacco pipes laid one across the other on the floor. They clap their sticks, swords, or handkerchiefs together to match with the dance.

The new park was immediately nicknamed 'The Mystery'. At the time the press speculated that the donor might be Philip Holt — a shipowner who himself lived on the edge of Sefton Park — but this was neither confirmed nor denied. Local historian and resident Neil Carter described the park's nickname as "apt" as the local people often questioned the Council's lack of motivation in redeveloping the park for further recreational use and as such people tend to just use the park as a shortcut to other places.

Sefton Park public park in south Liverpool, England

Sefton Park is a public park in south Liverpool, England. The park is in a district of the same name, located roughly within the historic bounds of the large area of Toxteth Park. Neighbouring districts include modern-day Toxteth, Aigburth, Mossley Hill, Wavertree and St Michael's Hamlet.

View across Wavertree Playground towards the Anglican Cathedral Anglican Cathedral from Wavertree Playground.jpg
View across Wavertree Playground towards the Anglican Cathedral

A Liverpool Corporation day nursery had a building on the site on Grant Avenue but this was demolished about 1990.

In addition to the playground, the land is home to Wavertree Athletics Centre with many sports facilities including tennis courts, all-weather pitch, bowling green and athletic track with grandstand. Liverpool Harriers and Athletic Club have based their headquarters at this centre since 1990.

See also

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