Nelson memorial restored in park

A historic monument which had to be removed to allow for the building of the new Alder Hey Hospital has been relocated.

The Nelson memorial in Springfield Park has been restored and relocated from its original site to an area of the park which is not affected by the hospital building.

The the Friends of Springfield Park staged a ceremony to mark the restoration and relocation of the memorial.

 The Lord Mayor, Councillor Gary Millar, unveiled a plaqaue on the monument and  Stephen Twigg MP, local residents and schoolchildren along with representatives of the Royal Naval Association and cadetswere present at the ceremony.

The memorial is a 40 feet tall obelisk made from red sandstone. It is a Grade 11 listed monument which had a brass plaque inscribed with the words: “Sacred to the memory of the illustrious Nelson who gloriously fell in defence of his country and to whose skill and valour Britons are indebted for domestic security and tranquil enjoyment of the produce of their industry.”

It was commissioned in 1806 to commemorate the death of Lord Nelson by a Mr Downward, a sugar refiner, who owned Springfield House. He offered the memorial to the city but it was rejected as being too small with one member of the Common Council describing it as “a half-Nelson”.

Mr Downward then had it erected in the grounds of his house and it has stood there since.  The park was acquired by the council in 1907.

Contractors Land O’Rouke have funded the restoration of the monument and it will now have a plaque honouring Mr Downward. The Alder Hey Hospital Trust funded the memorial’s plinth and a path leading to it.

Local Councillor Tony Concepcion, who is also chair of the Friends of Springfield Park, said: “The monument is a fascinating part of Liverpool’s heritage and we are delighted that it has been restored and will now be back in the park in a prominent position.

“A new Springfield Park is being created for use by all the community as part of the Alder Hey development and it means we will have a first class park alongside a world-renowned hospital.

“And while we are looking forward to having a new park for the 21st century we are retaining and celebrating an important part of our history.”

The new park will include a multi-use games area, a play area, football pitches and seating.

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