The History of Stanley Park, Blackpool – The Italian Garden, Lake Terrace and Promenade

In a report to the Blackpool Corporation Thomas Mawson, architect, stated that for scenic effect, an Italian Garden was to be placed at the very heart of the Park…a centrepiece to be proud of.

The Art Deco Cafe stands on the area originally designated for the pavilion and is fronted with a terrace leading to the Italian Garden and a promenade which skirts the head of the lake following in the footsteps of some of the most renowned continental parks.

In the centre of the Italian Garden there is a wonderful marble fountain which is the home of four sea horses that have recently been restored. The fountain was donated in 1926 by a Mr. John Magee.

Two bronze lion statues, also donated by Mr. Magee, adorn either side of the concrete staircase leading up to the terrace and cafe. These lions are copies of the Medici Lions in Florence which were originally meant for the promenade, however the Park was seen as a more fitting location.

The lake terrace can be found to the east of the Italian Garden where lawns, viewing areas and more formal bedding plants can be found whilst steps link the Garden to the lakeside which comes complete with landing stages.

The boathouses themselves have been finished in the same roughcast render as the gatehouses together with their sweeping Westmoreland slate roofs. Indeed it was a requirement that houses built on Corporation owned land were required to have Westmoreland green slate roofs.

The bandstand was designed by E.P. Mawson based on a classical temple with a copper roof and columns which sit on a circular podium.

The boathouses and bandstand are located facing each other at the head of the lake and today hordes of visitors to the Park enjoy boating on the vast lake, at times amidst the sounds of a swing band which may be playing from the bandstand itself and indeed, especially during the summer months, the waterside is full of vitality and colour, always in the presence of the geese, ducks and seagulls looking for their next scrap of food.