Fringe Box



Citizens Speak – The Castle Grounds

Published on: 14 Apr, 2012
Updated on: 16 Apr, 2012

Surprisingly perhaps, even some Guildfordians seem to remain unaware of what might be considered the jewel in the crown of our Borough Council’s parks department, the Castle Grounds. Following on from our article on the spring show of bulbs we decided to see what the visitors themselves thought…

Elizabeth & Eleanor Vardy from Farnham
  They are beautiful! As we walked in we were faced with an array of colour. The flowers looked especially good with the sun on them.  We visit the Castle grounds almost every time we come to Guildford which is about once a month. We make a point of coming to the Grounds as we are not truly dedicated shoppers. We like to have our lunch here and simply ‘chill’. It is right for the council to spend money on the gardens because they give pleasure to so many people. We don’t tend to visit any other Guildford parks because they are further away from the town centre.
John Lipman from Aldershot
They’re nice. I love it here. The Grounds are lovely and the keepers do a great job. I come from Aldershot every day and I use the gardens to have my lunch in and for sightseeing. I also like to take photographs here. I do think that the council should spend the money on them: without the display the place would go downhill. I do go to the other Parks and open spaces sometimes, I have been on St Catherine’s Hill. I enjoy them all. Many people don’t seem to know that they exist.
Holly Openshaw from Dorking & Jacob Clerk from Fareham
  The display is nice, really vibrant. It is our first visit our parents told us about it. we came here to have our lunch and just relax. Probably the council should spend the funds on other more important things but it does attract peopleto Guildford and help with tourism. We have not been to any other Guildford Parks and Gardens yet.
Chris Ashton from Woodbridge Hill
  The displays are very nice. They are always good at this time of year. I come here monthly, on average, just to relax and eat my lunch. I think it is right for the council to spend public money on them still: it does bring people into Guildford. I do use some others, Stoke Park for instance but the others are different, more open, and although they do contain some good floral displays too, this is the best. I have not come across any that are so well maintained as this one, anywhere.
Philip Hutchinson (keeper of the Castle’s ‘Great Tower’) from Harvey Road
  The displays are always exemplary. I get constant comments from visitors. With the mixture of rain and sun we have had, just recently, conditions could not be better. Of course, working here, I see them every day. I suppose you could say that I use them for my work… and the occasional human sacrifice (evil giggle).:-) I do think that the council should continue to spend money on them. They have already made cuts when they shut down Stoke nursery. Some lost their jobs. I have been to all the other Guildford Parks and Gardens in the past but they are not of the same standard.

What do you think? Why not add your views to the debate answering the same questions asked of our interviewees:

  1. What do you think about the floral display in the Castle Grounds?
  2. How often do you visit the Grounds?
  3. What do you use the Grounds for?
  4. At a time of council budget cuts do you think it is right to continue to spend money on the floral displays?
  5. What about other parks and gardens in Guildford? Do you use them? Are they of the same standard?

You can easily make your views known too. Please share your views by leaving the ‘Leave a Reply’ feature below…

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Responses to Citizens Speak – The Castle Grounds

  1. Pauline Surrey

    April 16, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Of course we have Henry Peak to thank for the fact that we can all enjoy the beautiful Castle Grounds.

    As a Town Guide I love the reaction achieved when a group enters the gates and views the flower displays for the first time.

    Without exception, a ‘wow’ rises up! Lovely then to take them up to the top of the mound to view St Catherine’s Chapel and talk about Guildford’s early history.

    By the way, Henry Peak’s diaries, so ably edited by Roger Nicholas, make splendid reading. His description of arriving in Guildford in the 1850s echoes what many people still feel today. It’s a great book, available from Guildford Museum.