One of the Towns most enjoyable attractions and an area of immense community pride and appeal, Elmhurst Park is often referred to as the jewel in the crown of Woodbridge. Elmhurst is invitingly located a short walk from both the main shopping Thoroughfare and the River Deben and is renowned for its floral colour, mature planting, high standards of maintenance, diverse events programme and wide community appeal.
This award winning park covers nearly two hectares and is attractively enclosed within boundary walls. The Park can be accessed from four entrances all suitable for wheelchairs and is equipped with level footpaths throughout.
The Park was gifted to the Town by Lord Woodbridge in 1935 and was originally part of a larger garden extending down to Marsh areas bordering the River Deben. The gardens belonged to the property called Elmhurst that overlooks the Park and originally contained fruit, vegetable and flower gardens, stables, a coachman’s house and a gardener’s cottage. The formal gardens to the house were once separated from the main part of the garden by a ‘ha-ha’, the top part of which is still visible beside the “long border” footpath.
Elmhurst is home to two sundials, the first a traditional horizontal sundial and the second an unusual equatorial sundial, donated to the Park in 1988. The public shelter was built to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953.
The Maritime theme flagpole and Napoleonic cannon helps link local history into the fabric of the Park with the Town owing much to it’s close proximity to the River Deben and its use as a Garrison town in the Napoleonic era.
Floral displays have long been a major visitor attraction and make up a part of the Town’s annual Anglia in Bloom competition entry of which the Town has a long proud history of success.
The park is home to more than 40 different tree species.
The Park’s management views conservation as being an essential part of a balanced environment and therefore manage areas for this purpose. A variety of bird and bat nesting boxes, mammal and insect shelters and habitats have been created to support our wildlife population. Areas are managed to allow wildflowers and plants of value to wildlife to flourish.
The Park’s facilities include a children’s play area, public performance area, seats and benches, conveniences and open grass areas suited to small informal games.
In 1998, a Public Performance Area was officially opened and acts as a centrepiece to our free events programme that takes place during the summer months. Each year a diverse range of concerts and events takes place, ranging from children’s fun days to live bands and singing groups.
The Park and its users benefit greatly from the input of numerous volunteer groups who assist and utilise the Park and it’s facilities.