The 130th birthday of Ramsgate’s Ellington Park will be celebrated this coming weekend.
The Friends of Ellington Park have organised a family fun event, coinciding with this month’s Heritage Open Days, which will take place on Sunday, September 10 from 11am to 4pm.
Attractions will include:
- Vintage cars
- Free lion puppet workshops with Looping the Loop
- The Sprackling Tales by Mrs Fox
- Spin the Bean with hoops of fun
- ‘Board at Home’ games
- Free music and acts at the bandstand – including SuperMicks, Kensei Taiko, Thanet Ukulele Band, Lyrical Hands and La Samba Ya Wantsum.
- Food and drink
- Park bookshop open
- Miniature Railway will be running
- Heritage Open Day – historic displays and talks
Ellington Park covers 13 acres and was laid out in 1893 on what was once part of the estate surrounding Ellington House. The park was designed by the Victorian landscape company Joseph Cheal and Son, known for their work at Hever Castle and Kirkstall Abbey.
The bandstand in Ellington Park is an original Victorian bandstand built in the early 1900s. Research has shown it is a MacFarlane Company pattern 279. The MacFarlane Company was a notable producer of decorative ironwork, including bandstands, during the Late Victorian Period. It operated from Saracen Works foundry in Glasgow and sent its products around the world.
The park is also the site of the notorious tale of murder in the Sprackling (Sprakeling) family.
A house once stood in the grounds which was owned by Adam Sprackling. In December, 1652, Adam, in a drunken rage, killed his wife Katherine with a meat cleaver.
He then killed her six dogs and tried to frame one of his drinking companions who was in a stupor at the house by smearing him with blood.
Sprackling tried to make his escape through a trap door that led to tunnels. One tunnel led to the church where Sprackling planned to seek refuge.
But law officers pursued him and caught him in one of the caves beneath the park.
Sprackling went to trial and was found guilty of murder. He hanged for his crime and was buried at St Laurence Church.
Prior to the murder, Adam was a Royalist cavalier, and had supported Charles I before the regicide in 1649.
In 2021 Ellington Park was restored by a partnership between The Friends of Ellington Park and Thanet District Council. The National Lottery Heritage Fund supported the restoration with £1.8million from its ‘Parks for People’ programme.
The park now features a café and toilet building, a children’s playground and its historic pathways, flint terrace and balustrade were restored, as was the bandstand.
In July the park was awarded a Green Flag for the second year running.