The Rockery: designed in 1935

Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.

e) THE ROCKERY: Lying on the opposite side of Preston Road, the site of the Rockery was originally a small wood known as the Rookery; the two names are often interchanged. It was purchased along with the rest of the park, but remained in its original state, with the exception of three bowling-greens, until 1935 when the Rockery was designed by the Parks Superintendent, Captain B.MacLaren. It is the largest municipal rock garden in Britain; 1,350 tons of Cheddar stone were unloaded at the top of the railway embankment and sledded down, to be laid out below by unemployed labour.

A walk to the top of the Rockery above the artificial cascade will reward the visitor with a delightful view over the park, Preston Manor and St Peter’s Church. With the tennis-courts to the north, the whole area occupies 3.5 acres. The chalet was constructed from the materials of the former police station at the Level. The large building behind the tennis-courts is an electricity substation, erected in 1924.

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

Comments about this page

  • I am very upset at the state of the rockery. I have not visited for several years and found dead carp in the water, very overgrown in places, and dirty. I’m also upset that the cascade no longer works; I used to love it as a child and will not be going back again. If money is scarce get the unemployed to clean it up maybe with a bit of hard work our heritage may be more respected.

    By Patricia Downer (30/07/2009)
  • A major rebuild of the pond has just been completed.

    By Tony Duke (11/06/2013)

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