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Kingsnorth Gardens

Kingsnorth Gardens is an ornamental town park, a picturesque garden harking back to the 1920s.

These formal gardens are a peaceful retreat within easy reach of Folkestone town centre.

The gardens were opened in 1928 and are a mix of Oriental, Italian and English garden styles. They have a number of significant features including:

  • specimen trees including Acers with unique shrimp-pink spring foliage
  • ornamental ponds with fountains, water lilies, fish, frogs and newts
  • statues, including an oriental lantern, Sir Jeffrey Hudson and 'Pan'
  • seasonal bedding displays
  • an alpine rockery

The central feature is a magnificent weeping ash tree with seating beneath it. The park is highly scented, mainly thanks to its many roses.

There are 3 entrances:

  • near South Kent College on Kingsnorth Gardens
  • Castle Hill Avenue
  • Shorncliffe Road

The nearest public toilets are at Radnor Park on the Cheriton Road (just a two minute walk away).

View the Kingsnorth Gardens photo gallery on the Explore Kent Flickr page.

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The history of the gardens

John Kingsnorth was once a tenant farmer at Ingles Farm. He excavated the former site of Kingsnorth Gardens to produce material for bricks for local building projects. The kilns were near the railway arch that spans Cheriton Road. Later, the site became allotments and then an area where rubbish was dumped. People started to complain to the town council, which began to think of ways of developing it, perhaps as a site for a town hall.

The town hall idea proved too costly, so the idea of an ornamental garden started to emerge. The Parks Committee received instructions to proceed with the creation of a garden. The work was planned by Mr G.E. Roden, parks superintendent at the time. Work began in 1926 with a workforce of unemployed men and a budget of £3,500. The gardens were opened on June 27th 1928, by the Viscountess of Folkestone and the mayor, Alderman R.G. Wood.

 

The design of the gardens

Kingsnorth Gardens, still a popular and secluded haven for many, celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2003. Much of the garden has seen little change since 1928 only improvements and re-planting.

 

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