Nottingham Arboretum: Nottingham's oldest park

Photo:Chinese Bell Tower Nottingham Arboretum c. 1910

Chinese Bell Tower Nottingham Arboretum c. 1910



Nottingham Arboretum was opened to the public on May 11, 1852. As Nottingham ’s oldest public park, the Arboretum was developed following the passing of the Nottingham Enclosure Act of 1845 which instigated the enclosure of fields and meadows that were used by the burgesses and freeholders of Nottingham to graze their animals. To compensate for the loss of public open space the Nottingham Enclosure Act provided for a series of places of public recreation and public walks around the town, including 17 acres adjacent to Waverley Street on the north side of Nottingham – the site of the Arboretum.

Designed by Samuel Curtis, a prominent botanist and horticultural expert, the Arboretum was set within a landscape planted with trees and ornamental shrubs.  Features included refreshment rooms, a large fish pond, an aviary and an ornamental garden. In later years a band stand was added. Some of the mature trees and shrubs growing there today date back to the original planting.

In 2002, a successful Heritage Lottery bid meant that Nottingham City Council was able to undertake major renovations to the site.

For more information about Nottingham Arboretum, see the Nottingham City Council website.

This page was added by H W on 22/05/2012.
Comments about this page

The Arboretum is not Nottingham's oldest park; the forest was opened several years earlier.

By June Perry
On 31/05/2022

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