Central Park’s secrets and hidden treasures brimming with history

Everyone loves stumbling across treasures we never knew existed, and even in some of Plymouth’s most recognisable and famous locations, there are things that you learnt about which you never knew.

Central Park is the largest park in Plymouth, and was originally created in 1928 as a park devoted to the improvement of the health of city residents, according to Visit Plymouth.

Formed from a collection of farms and reportedly sold cheaply to the City Council by Lord St Levan in 1923, it was done so only on the condition that it remained a public open space. The City Council commissioned the landscape architect E. Reuben Mawson to prepare a plan for the park, and his far-sighted report was presented to The Hoe and Parks Committee in October 1928.

It’s stunning all year round, with wide boulevards which go through the park’s open meadows and woodlands – autumn or summer it’s the place to go for some fresh air. And there’s plenty to discover in Plymouth’s Central Park – from interesting sculptures to hidden faces, each has a fascinating history.

So let’s meet some of Central Park’s quirky sculptures and hidden history.

The Green Man and the lizard

Green Man is carved from an old tree stump

You may walk past Green Man on your dog walk or jog and not think much about his grumpy face and wild hair – but he is pretty hard to miss. He’s been carved out of a tree trunk and sits proudly watching over the woods near the cemetery entrance. He’s not far from his lizard friend, and they’re both part of a sculpture trail. The lizard is a place to play, and is made from timber from the park.

But what is the meaning behind the Green Man? According to Historic UK, the name was first used by Lady Raglan in March 1939 in an article she wrote for the ‘Folklore’ journal.

The lizard in central park

It is said that before this, the sculptures and depictions had been known just as ‘foliate heads’ and no-one had paid them any particular …


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