FoEP: Improving the Park for the benefit of the whole community
The Bullring ....
Did you know? The Friends of Eastfield Park logo consists of a ring of 26 black spots representing the 26 trees in the Bullring when James Manfield sold the land on which the Park is situated.
This year's 'Autumn Enhancement of the Park' has been split over two days: a 'Tidy-up' in September (report below) and Gardening in Octoberr (poster below):
Flytipping means dumping waste, including green garden waste or soil, on public or private land without a licence. Just because waste may eventually compact or compost down, does not make dumping it acceptable or permissible.
A recent case of fly-tipping soil in Eastfield Park is being investigated by NBC Officers. Forensic evidence could be used to identify those responsible. The maximum penalty for fly-tipping is £50,000 or twelve months in prison!
Fig 2: Picture of the statue taken many years ago (kindly supplied by Chris Freeman) - click to enlarge
The map reproduced here (Fig 3) illustrates the area in and around the Park at the end of the 18th century. The coloured line shows the border of the Parish of Abington (then separate from the Borough of Northampton). The Kettering Road runs diagonally across the map, more or less along its present route. Booth Lane, in the Parish of Weston Favell, is seen on the right hand side of the map, also following its present route although the bends have now been considerably smoothed. Today's Eastfield Park occupies an area covering much of the fields labelled 123 and 124, the southern half of Field 77 and part of 78, plus very small parts of 79 and 122 (click on the map for a larger image). The Bullring is clearly shown at the intersection of two avenues of trees. These avenues are themselves somewhat puzzling as they appear to lead to and from nowhere in particular. As an ornamental feature they are also remote from the manor house (today's Abington Park Museum). Whether the avenues on the map represent actual or planned features is uncertain but there is no doubt that the ring of trees corresponds to today's Bullring. A map of the estate dated 1840 shows the Bullring without the avenues of trees.
Fig 1: The Bullring in 2011 - click to enlarge
The Bullring (sometimes wtitten as two separate words) is one of the oldest and most interesting features in Eastfield Park. Many people assume that this ring of lime trees (Fig 1) dates back only to the early years of the 20th century when James Manfield owned the land and built Weston Favell House (later to become Manfield Orthopaedic Hospital and, today, Manfield Grange) just to the north of the present Park. While it is true that Manfield placed a statue of a hunter with his dog attacking a wild boar on a plinth at the centre of the ring (Fig 2), the ring itself is much older. In fact, the 1923 sale catalogue for the Manfield Estate describes the Bullring as consisting of 26 trees and being over 200 years old. Today there are just 10 trees in the ring, and the statue has unfortunately gone, leaving only the mysterious looking plinth.
Fig 3: Extract from 1798 map showing Bullring and avenues of trees - click to enlarge