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Sydney Gardens Project
National Lottery Heritage Funded Park Restoration Project
July 2021
L-P Archaeology working on the sarcophagus found in Sydney Gardens recently
News, opportunities and events

Coming up ...

A Family Gardening for Wildlife Session on Tuesday 27 July 2-4pm led by Mali. 
Book here - it will be great fun!
Extraordinary Archaeology!
Trails about Jane Austen's time with the Georgian Pleasure Garden, and our fabulous trees.

We need your help with gardening, conservation, research, documentation and recording living memories! Please get in touch if you're interested and we can talk about opportunities. 


We are also glad to welcome Tierian Rogers-Dixon to our team. Tierian is on a Kickstarter placement and he joins our gardening team every Wednesday. He's already been so helpful!

Best wishes,
Sue Palmer, Community Ranger
Mali Kedward, Horticultural Participation Officer
Matt Watson, Horticultural Apprentice
Keith Rowe, Project Manager

Sydney Gardens Project Team, Parks Service, B&NES Council
Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Follow us on Facebook @SydneyGardensBath
Read our blog on Medium
Significant archaeological finds
A sarcophagus and funerary activity
Read all about the extraordinary recent archaeological finds in our newsroom. And here we are on the BBC

During groundworks associated with the HLF funded improvement works at Sydney Gardens, Bath, an archaeological watching-brief revealed a small area of surviving stratigraphy dating to the Prehistoric and Roman periods. This area contained a concentration of Roman period funerary activity which, whilst small; is unrivalled in its detail in comparison to other records of excavation in central Bath.

The finds from the area included the first ever evidence of a cremation burial from the Bathwick Cemetery and also the first sarcophagus to be recovered and excavated from the cemetery in the modern era.
The sarcophagus was excavated in-situ by a team from L – P : Archaeology. As the team peeled back the layers of silt within the casket, the excavation identified two individuals and evidence of the reuse of the sarcophagus for later internments; a custom that is thought to have once been relatively common but is poorly evidenced in the archaeological record.

L-P Archaeology are giving a special talk on Monday 26 July at 6pm (Clore Room, Holburne). Limited spaces due to requirement of social distancing for the speaker's needs - book here. The talk is being filmed so if you don't get a ticket, you can watch it online later.
Jane Austen in Sydney Gardens trail
written by author and historian Diana White
Explore Jane Austen's relationship with the Georgian Pleasure Gardens! Jane lived just across the road at No 4 Sydney Place between 1801 and 1804.

Diana White, an author and historian, has written this trail as a volunteer on our restoration project, helping us to imagine both the time and the place from Jane's perspective.
We are re-stocking the printed trails regularly but they are flying out of the perspex boxes near the park entrance behind the Holburne!! - so use our longer online mobile-friendly version. We are testing out our trails before creating final versions later this year so do give us feedback.
Talk with IronArt - Thursday 22 July - 6pm
About the conservation of the historic Ironwork Loos!

Only one place left! Or add your name to the wait list!

Come to this on site talk about the historic Ironwork Loos in Sydney Gardens led by local expert Andy Thearle from IronArt - a great speaker and guide. 
Find out about the restoration processes and challenges faced by IronArt including how they recreated a special rain spout.

These Grade II listed ironwork loos are of significance in their design, pattern and assembly, with both Edwardian Gents and a 1920s Ladies Loo. We will also introduce how the Loos will be used following their restoration - our volunteer Alison Dods will be there to talk about our plans!

Free, limited places, outdoors (in and around the ironwork loos in Sydney Gardens). Reserve your place

IronArt have completed the painting of the Edwardian Grade II Listed Gents Loos and it's now visible and looking great! They are erecting a tent around the concrete platform getting ready for the return of the 1920s Ironwork Ladies that has been restored offsite.

It's so good to see kids playing in the park! Here is a pic from the free After School Play every Wednesday led by Play Rangers from Bath Area Play Project. They are fully booked up now!
But we will be running some small group Quiet Play sessions for children in the summer holidays - we're just working out the dates. Email us to go on a notification list.
Sydney Gardening
Family Gardening for Wildlife
Tuesday 27 July from 2pm - 4pm
Join our Horticultural Participation Officer Mali Kedward for an outdoor family learning and play session in Sydney Gardens. 

You will learn how to encourage more wildlife to gardens and parks in a practical hands-on way.  This session is designed for children aged 8-12 but siblings are welcome.  Please contact Mali for more information. Booking essential.
Gardening Volunteer Sessions every Wednesday
 
(No sessions in August, restart in September)
Small group gardening volunteer sessions are running every Wednesday from 10am to 11.30am, led by Mali and Matt, running through the year (except August).

Please book in to a session here. There's lots to do this summer!  No experience needed. All tools provided. Risk assessed for Covid-safety. 

As a volunteer you also get first dibs on our free horticultural training programme.  If you'd like to get involved in gardening or conservation, or have any questions, please contact Mali Kedward, the Horticultural Participation Officer. 

 
Construction and restoration update
Our build programme has been affected and delayed by the Covid pandemic as well as other factors by around 10 months.  We are still planning to complete building work by the end of the year, planting over this coming winter and the overall project by March 2022. 
At some point towards the end of July, it will be necessary to close the canal entrance from the park onto the canal towpath (where the white gates are), and implement a diversion route, so that we can carry out works to the entranceway, including a new ramp to improve access.

Further details will be provided in a future newsletter and information will be posted in the area around the entrance.

The build continues to progress well and we're making use of the warmer dry weather. The play area is being set out now the archaeological works have been completed.

The petanque courts are finished. You are welcome to use them for a game. The landscape works continue to be set out in this area so please take care and avoid fenced off areas.

The tennis courts at the top of the park have had their final coat of paint and they're looking great! Lovely to see them so well used. New gates will be installed at some point in the summer.

The Community Pavilion and Public Loos, with new Changing Places facility are all progressing well.
Sally Strachey Historic Conservation have nearly completed stabilising the 'ruin' in the former depot area. We now think part of the ruin was one of the former Supper Boxes.  Now Parsons Landscapes are in this area re-shaping it ready to be accessible to the public!

The lime plaster is up on the Temple of Minerva and works at the Loggia are progressing well.

 
The Friends of Sydney Gardens
The Friends of Sydney Gardens is a community organisation formed in 2013 to promote awareness of the gardens, gather community feedback on improvements and developments and to foster the gardens' care and maintenance.

The Friends run a volunteer gardening session on the second Sunday of the month from 10am to 12 noon. There is a regular group of friendly people - contact Gill if you would like to join them. All tools provided, and a warm welcome!
Save the date!
The Sydney Gardens Project and the Friends of Sydeny Gardens will be in the park as part of Heritage Open Days on Saturday 18 September from 12 noon - 4pm, with tours and information about the park's natural and built heritage and the restoration project.

The Sydney Gardens Tree Trail has been created by the Friends in partnership with the project. Each tree has on the trail has a QR code to access in depth information on their website

Access the Sydney Gardens Tree Trail online -  or pick up a printed leaflet (in the perspex box by the notice board at the park entrance behind the Holburne). 

The Friends also run much needed weekend litter picks.

Can you spare an hour to help?


Please help support your local green space - contact Gill Gazzard at the Friends. 

Please join the Friends to support Sydney Gardens now and in the future.
Sydney Gardens National Lottery Heritage Funded Project
Sydney Gardens is one of Britain’s best remaining Georgian Pleasure Gardens.
Find out more about Sydney Gardens in the past.

The National Lottery Heritage Funding will be used to restore historic buildings, invest in landscape works and garden restoration, and create new play areas for all ages.
Find out more about Sydney Gardens

Alongside the works, a programme of events and activities is being run: learning, arts, nature, horticulture, wildlife, play, sport, archaeology and history. The project will celebrate the fascinating history of the Gardens, with its Cosmorama, Labyrinth, Merlins Swing, Concerts, Public Breakfasts, Galas and Illuminations.

What's happening:

Our project started the 'Delivery Phase' on 1st February 2019:
2019: Detailed technical design, programming of works, with public events, activities, training and volunteering.
2020: Delivery of restoration, building works and landscaping, volunteering and training programme, and designing interpretation
2021: Continued delivery of the restoration and build with accompanying volunteer and training programme, activities and partnership events
March 2022: Completion of the project

Read about our National Lottery Heritage Funding

Sydney Gardens, Bath Sydney Gardens, Bath
Sue Palmer, Sydney Gardens Community Ranger Sue Palmer, Sydney Gardens Community Ranger
@BathnesParks @BathnesParks
@SydneyGardensBath/ @SydneyGardensBath/
@BathnesParks @BathnesParks
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Sydney Gardens Parks for People Project · Parks and Green Spaces · Lewis House, Manvers Street · Bath, Bath and North East Somerset BA1 1JG · United Kingdom

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