Churchtown :: Village Trail
THE BOTANIC GARDENS were originally opened in November 1874 by the Southport and Churchtown Botanic Gardens Company as a place with an almost endless variety of attractions, admission 4d.
The Botanic Gardens Lake was formed from part of what was the Otter Pool or The Pool. This was a stream that flowed from Blowick through Meols Hall out to the Ribble Estuary. The monks who lived nearby fished for eels in this stream.
The Gardens closed in 1932 but were saved from being sold for housing by the Southport Corporation. They were reopened on Saturday 28th August 1937 as The Botanic Gardens and King George Playing Fields. Although the Fernery still remains the magnificent Conservatory was demolished. The outline of the remains can still be seen in front of the Fernery and are now laid out as a rose garden.
THE BOTANIC GARDENS MUSEUM was opened in 1876. The famous showman Phileus T. Barnum was an advisor and his top hat can be seen on display in the museum.
When the gardens closed before the last war, all the effects and collections were sold off. However, when the museum reopened, Mr. John Scoles, the new curator collected much new material which forms the basis of the present collection.
The museum now contains many fine collections of local interest including natural and local history, The Cecily Bate Collection of Dolls, and a Victorian Period Room. It is now the only museum in Sefton.
During the 1980s The Friends of the Botanic Gardens Museum were formed. They stopped the proposed closure of the museum and do a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure that the museum continues to stay open. The Friends also have their own shop within the museum building.
Botanic Gardens Action Group