Grosvenor Park, the main ornamental park in Chester, occupies 16 acres of land next to the River Dee and is extremely popular venue for tourists. It is typically Victorian in its layout with formal avenues lined with trees, statues, large sweeping lawns surrounded with ornamental shrub beds and colourful display bedding. The layout was designed by Edward Kemp in the 19th century, with features by the famous Chester architect John Douglas. The land was donated to the city of Chester by Richard, the second Marquis of Westminster in 1867.
Marble statue of the second Marquis of Westminster
The site was formerly fields, in one of which was a well, known locally as Billy Hobby's Well, which legend states was endowed with magical properties. Douglas designed a canopy to stand over the site of the well.
The large white marble statue of the second Marquis of Westminster is the work of Thomas Thornycroft and was funded by public subscription. The impressive statue was once surrounded by four guns, two being Boer guns which were captured in the Boer War and the other two were Russian guns which had been captured at Sebastopol in the Crimean War.
The Medieval Arches
The three medieval arches in the park were moved from another location in Chester. St Mary's Arch dates back to around the thirteenth century and formerly stood in St Mary's Benedictine Nunnery. The Old Shipgate Arch formerly stood to the west of the Bridgegate and was moved in 1831.The third archway was removed from St Michael's Church.
Grosvenor Park Miniature Railway is a 7¼" gauge railway, opened in 1996 to commemorate the centenary of the Duke of Westminster's railway at nearby Eaton Hall, is popular with young and old alike. The railway runs Diesel and occasionally Steam trains around a ¼ mile circuit, over the long wooden viaduct and around the duckpond. There is a small station selling Thomas The Tank souvenirs.
A number of cultural and horticultural events, including events in the Summer Music Festival, are held in the park