Northeast of England
at it's best
Barnes Park - taken from the History of Sunderland published 1919
Barnes Park, our latest addition to Sunderland Parks, is at the West End of the Borough, and is approached from Durham Road and Chester Road. The thirty-three acres forming the Barnes Park were purchased in 1904 for £8,500. During the depression of trade in 1907, it was decided to commence the laying out of the Park, in order to provide work for the unemployed. In addition to the practical gardeners, 2,798 men were employed with most satisfactory results. All the trees upon the land at the time of its acquisition were allowed to remain, and a considerable number of oak, ash, beech and elm trees, as well as numerous shrubs and plants were added. Well made paths wind in and out in all directions, and at the West on the most elevated piece of ground, are two bowling greens, tennis courts, and a cafe. Barnes Park is situated in a beautiful little valley through which flows the Bishopwearmouth Burn, the water here forms a lake dotted with islands, the home of many water fowl. The surplus water forms a miniature waterfall at the east end of the lake. In addition to a bandstand, an ancient cannon dredged from the River Wear is placed in a conspicuous position, so that our newest park is by no means the least interesting.
All our local birds visit the park in large numbers; there are also many birds of passage and winter visitors to be seen by the bird lover especially in the early morning. Nesting boxes are provided, and amongst the birds breeding regularly in the park may be mentioned the water hen, starlings, linnets, and grey birds. Snipe, water ouzels, tits, diving ducks, and chaffinches may frequently be observed. During the summer months the beautiful roses, the fine shady trees, and pleasing stretches of well kept green, added to its natural picturesqueness, make this quite the most delightful of Sunderland Parks.