Public park and arboretum 1839-40 by J. Loudon enlarged 1845. Broad straight walks with crosswalks and winding perimeter walk. Undulating turfed mounds in between and concealing walks. Lawns for recreation. Central fountain, seats, vases by R. Blore. Pavilion/bandstand to side of cross walk, formerly one of a pair. Lodges by E.B. Lamb. Arboretum Street entrance 1853 by Duesbury. First park to be specifically designed for and owned by the public as a direct result of the movement for public walks.
Included on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest on April 8 1984. In the early 19th century the site was a private pleasure and kitchen garden belonging to Joseph Strutt. In 1839 Strutt commissioned a plan from J C Loudon for the garden to be laid out for public use. The commission required various existing features to be retained, including some mature trees, a flower garden, a cottage and an ivy-clad tool shed. Loudon proposed an arboretum. Two lodges and shelters designed by E B Lamb were built by Thompson of Derby, while seats and vases were donated and positioned by Strutt. The Arboretum was opened on September 16 1840. Some changes were made in the mid 19th century, with further changes in the mid and late 20th century. The site was subject to a restoration programme in the late 1980s. (5)
Two illustrations depicted by Authority 6: The caption of the first is: 'Postcard showing Henry Duesbury's elegant lodge with a statue of the park's donor Joseph Strutt at the front. After decades of dereliction and vandalism, the lodge, built 1850 was refurbished as photographic studios in 1993-94 by the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust and Derby City Council'. The second caption is: 'Photograph by Richard Keene in the early 1870s shows the back of the lodge - which formed an Orangery - with its Whitehurst clock'. (6)
Trent & Peak Archaeological Unit was commissioned by Landscape Design Associates to conduct an archaeological and buildings appraisal of Derby Arboretum in 2000. An historical appraisal of the Arboretum by Glenn Anderson Associates in 1996 for Derby City Council is noted, and Authority 7 sets out to provide new evidence, and to examine all evidence from an archaeological perspective. Strutt purchased land with existing buildings from Leacroft in 1796, from Saxelby in 1799, from Wilson in 1801, and from Galton in 1822. The deeds suggest that before the purchase the land had been in use for farming and market gardening, and included existing mounds, banks and ditches, for which a number of origins are suggested; these may have been levelled by Strutt, or may have survived to be incorporated into Loudon's design. The Arboretum was extended to the south in 1845/46, to encompass Rose Hill, and again in 1854, the latter area being later referred to as Arboretum Field, and laid out as a football ground in 1880s. Currently (2000) within the Arboretum the mounds survive largely as designed by Loudon, although they appear to be lower, and the paths are fewer and not exactly as suggested by Loudon's original design, although whether this was fully implemented is unclear. The extent and nature of the original boundaries is uncertain and was probably determined in part by the owners of the adjacent land; it seems that there were brick boundary walls with gates and railings only adjacent to the two entrance lodges, Grove Street Lodge and East Lodge. Much of the current (2000) boundary railing is Victorian, and may have been installed when the City Council took over responsibility for the Arboretum as a public park in 1882. Little survives of the original furniture and fittings apart from the boar plinth and the restored remains of the Handyside fountain. Four 19th century buildings survive within the Arboretum: Grove Street Lodge, Arboretum Square Lodge, East Pavilion and Bowling Green Clubhouse. Authority 7 explores the architectural history of each building, together with that of Rose Hill, or South, Lodge at the entrance to the adjoining recreational ground. (7, 8)