East Park, with West Park, Hoglands and Houndwell, is one of the town’s Central Parks. These parks are ancient in origin and were originally the town fields areas of land on which people grew their crops in summer and grazed animals in winter. They were known as Lammas Lands because the crops had to be harvested on Lammas Day, 1 August. West Park and East Park were originally known as East and West Marlands, deriving their name from the leper hospital of St Mary Magdalene, which stood in this vicinity from the 12th to 14tth centuries. East Park represents all of traditional East Marlands except for Palmerston Park, which was cut off by the construction of New Road.

Under the 1844 Marsh Improvement Act the council was empowered to drain and develop another area of common land, the Saltmarsh (the area around the old Terminus Station). In return for the loss of common rights, the council agreed to turn the other Lammas Lands into public spaces for the use of the town’s inhabitants. Work began in the 1850s; a survey of 1856/57 shows the layout of the paths through the parks, and apart from a few minor alterations they have not been changed since.

The alternative name for East Park, Andrews Park, came into use after the statue to Richard Andrews was erected here in 1860.

Further reading:

Southampton Occasional Notes, 2nd Series, by ‘Townsman’, p30. (HS/h)


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