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Thornton Park in Kingsthorpe needs a face lift
Thorton Hall in Kingsthorpe
The grounds are owned by Northampton borough Council

Thornton Park in Kingsthorpe, Northampton used to have beautiful ornamental gardens of some 15 acres.

But after years of neglect they're in desperate need of repair.

Plans to improve the park, off Mill Lane, have now been revealed by a group of volunteers, who want to rediscover some of the history the 18th century grounds have to offer.

The parkland surrounds Thornton Hall a classical Georgian building that was once owned by a succession of families.

Fond Memories

It was built to the designs of Leicester architect John Johnson in 1773-1775, by the Fremeaux family. The Thornton family inherited the estate, and sold it to Northampton Borough Council in 1937.

The hall, which has been subject to an arson attack, is now in the hands of developers, but the park remains in public ownership.

The grounds include ornamental gardens which used to comprise formal planting, shrubbery walks and a rockery, but these areas are now either overgrown or grassed over.

Christine Teulon, chair of the Friends of Thornton Park, feels that despite decades of neglect, the gardens still hold many memories.

The Cedar of Lebanon; possibly as old as the hall itself.
The Cedar of Lebanon is possibly as old as the hall itself

She said: "A number of ladies have told us that this is quite a romantic spot.

"This is where they've had wedding photographs taken and there has even been a proposal here! So it's a lovely place, but of course there are no flowers here now. In fact it looks quite desolate."

New facilities

By 2012, the Friends aim by to obtain estimates for the repair of its paths, walls and terraces. They're also planning butterfly and wildflower gardens and hope one day to be able to provide toilet and café facilities.

Christine is determined to bring about improvements. She said: "Thornton Park is a much loved park full of special memories for many local people. We need to cherish it."

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