Jephson Gardens

Victorian Park in Leamington Spa


Opening hours:
Open every day from 8am – dusk

Postcode: CV32 4AA - Location map


Things to enjoy

  • Glasshouse - interesting tropical plants and goldfish pond;
  • The Aviary Café – beautifully restored Victorian tea pavilion;
  • The Restaurant in the Park – lunches, dinners and functions;
  • Boating on the River Leam – from Leam Boat Centre, Mill Gardens;
  • South Lodge - history display showing the Gardens in times past;
  • Flowers - beautiful floral displays from spring to autumn and mixed borders for year round colour;
  • Trees – fine collection of beautiful and unusual specimens;
  • Sensory garden – plants to touch and smell;
  • Memorials to notable past citizens of Leamington;
  • Feed the ducks on the lake;
  • Play area in Mill Gardens. Ship theme and sand play. Field for ball games.

Other facilities:

  • Ranger service;
  • Toilets, disabled toilets and baby change;
  • All areas accessible by wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Sorry, but…

  • Dogs welcome but must be kept on a lead in Jephson Gardens.  Dogs are not allowed in Mill Gardens play area;
  • No cycling in the Gardens.

History

First laid out in 1831 as informal riverside walks along the River Leam, the original Newbold Gardens were developed into formal pleasure grounds after 1846 in honour of Dr Henry Jephson, who had promoted the town as a spa. Jephson Gardens gained renown for its band concerts, archery and tennis, illuminations, trees and flowers. It is listed as Grade II on the English Heritage register of historic parks and gardens.

Originally the settling beds for the town’s water supply, Mill Gardens was created as part of improvements to the River Leam in 1901-03, which created one riverside landscape. Mill Bridge and the boat house were also constructed at this time.

Like many parks, Jephson Gardens fell into slow decline after World War II. It was restored by Warwick District Council in the early 2000s thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of over £3 million. The Victorian gardens are now complemented by a modern Glasshouse and restaurant.

Carving of Copper Beech (March - June 2013)

Tree felled

The large copper beech tree near the clock tower was diagnosed with a root rotting fungal disease, Meripilus Giganteus, and had to be felled. The tree was one of the first trees planted in Jephson Gardens approximately 160 years ago. Graham Jones, a local sculptor, has been commissioned to carve the remaining 3 metre tree base with a timeline highlighting dates and events which occurred during the trees lifetime. Each date and image are carved into the tree growth ring which corresponds to the year. 

Timeline

1846 - a beech leaf carved at the centre of the tree - gardens were opened
1849 - Jephson memorial image - memorial for Dr Henry Jephson who promoted the healing properties of the towns spa water
1875 - Willes Obelisk - built to honour Edward Willes who donated the park land
1880 - An elephant head signifying the three elephants of Sam Lockhart that lived in Leamington Spa. The carving spans the wood which grew from 1880 to 1960 when the last elephant died.

Carvings

1901 - the year Queen Victoria died
1914 - the Great War (1st World War). The carving is between the years 1914-18
1939 - the Czech Fountain image of a parachute with water flowing over it. The fountain was erected in 1968 in the memory of the paratroopers who were based in Leamington during the Second World War. The carving spans the period 1939-45
1999 - a design of a swan in flight to represent the Glass House
There is also a decorative palm leaf image based on the palm trees in the gardens. In the back of the tree base an alcove seat has been carved.

How to get there

  • Bike – bike racks on Newbold Terrace and outside East Lodge;
  • Bus – most services stop at the Lower Parade or the Parish Church. More on buses to parks;
  • Rail – 10-minutes from Leamington Spa station via Pump Room Gardens;
  • Car and motorcycle – On-street pay and display parking and disabled parking in Newbold Terrace and Newbold Street.  Other nearby car parking includes St Peters and Rosefield Street car parks.

Nearby

  • Royal Pump Rooms  – award winning art gallery and museum, tourist information, café, public library, events and functions;
  • Old Town trail, self-guided walk from the Royal Pump Rooms;
  • Events in Leamington Town Centre - See Royal Leamington Spa;
  • Churches – All Saints and St Peter’s, two magnificent Victorian interiors;
  • Regency town centre – shopping, pubs, restaurants;
  • Town walks - organised by Leamington History Group
  • Riverside Walk , upstream to Newbold Comyn Park, downstream to Victoria Park and Warwick.

Park maintenance - contact us

Jephson Gardens park is maintained by Warwick District Council. Call 01926 353365 or email contract.services@warwickdc.gov.uk

Map

Keyboard accessible version of map