History of Kings Heath Park

The house in Kings Heath Park was built in 1832 for the newly elected left the house in 1835 and over the next few years there were a number of occupiers.

In 1880 the house was bought by John Cartland, a wealthy brass founder and ancestor of novelist Dame Barbara Cartland. John Cartland transferred the property to his four sons who let it on a 21 year lease to Fredrick Everitt, who owned Kings Heath Brewery in Grange Road.

In 1901, the lease was surrendered to the Cartlands, but in 1902 a national financial crisis had repercussions on the Cartland family. They formed the Priory Trust Co Ltd and transferred the freehold of the house and land to that trust with the possible intention of developing the area for housing. However, in 1908 the Trust sold the house and half the surrounding land to the Kings Norton and Northfield Urban District Council for £11,000. The council responded to popular demand and opened the grounds as a public park.

In 1914 the trust sold the remaining half of the land surrounding the house to Birmingham Corporation for £5000. This area was immediately incorporated into the newly formed Kings Heath Park.

Television Garden

The Television Garden at Kings Heath Park started in 1972 as a partnership between Birmingham City Council and television company ATV (which later became Central Television). The programme, Gardening Today, was originally devised to show viewers how to design and maintain their gardens. The first presenters were Bob Price and Cyril Fletcher. Today, this section of garden is very mature and is admired by the tens of thousands of visitors each year.

In 1989, Bob Price passed away. New presenters were brought in and the show was given a new name: Garden Time. The development of the site was rapid, with companies like Bradstone, Blooms of Bressingham and Stapley Water Gardens establishing many high profile displays.

In 1995, Central Television pulled out. Later that year the School of Horticulture established a partnership with Pershore College, a nationally recognised Horticultural College and Bournville College. Students from both colleges used the gardens as a training ground.

In 1996, Gardeners World moved to Kings Heath Park. Over the years they have developed many new gardens with top designers like John Brookes, Robin Williams, Dan Pearson and Bonita Bolitis, producing a variety of different designs.

The Television Gardens are usually open to the public twice a month between April and October. For more information please call Thrive Birmingham on 0121 293 4531.

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