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A Brief History of Marine Cove


The Marine Cove site was originally part of the Old Vicarage estate until its sale in 1922 to a private company, Burnham on Sea Attractions Ltd for £650.00. The company wished to prevent housing development at the site and hoped to sell it to the Council; the Council declined the offer on the table. Subsequently at a Council meeting in 1925 the land (then known as Marine Lawn) was gifted to the "The Urban District Council", this gift was formalised in 1926 and the Marine Cove Gardens was designed, as you would see them today, a beautiful, Historic Edwardian Garden. The Gardens were formally opened in 1927 by J B Braithwaite (Quaker and Stockbroker1855-1934).

The gardens have been well used by both locals and visitors to the town since this time though, over the years, the upkeep of the design and facilities were neglected to the point that the shelters became unsafe and were condemned as such in 2007. This prompted a bid to the Lottery Health Fund to refurbish the park and return it, as much as possible, to its original design and former glory. The bid was successful and in 2008 this work began.

With the help of historical photographs of the Gardens, much work was done during the refurbishment programme and this included:-

  • Repairing and re-building the dry-stone walling in and at the boundary of the park

  • Repairing and replacing paving and kerbs within the gardens

  • Restoring the cherub and lions head fountain and replacing the broken sundial

  • Repairing the shelters

  • Renovating the gates

  • Renovating the pergola

  • Renovating the pond

  • Re-introducing planting sympathetic to the original Edwardian design

  • Ensuring the ecology of the gardens were preserved and also enhanced

Part of the bid included the provision of a Community Gardener, who was successful in gaining local support and with her help, the Friends of Marine Cove Gardens was born. With support of the friends, the restored gardens officially re-opened in December 2011.

Historical images

Marine Cove Cherub Pond

Before restoration

Lion's Head Fountain and Splash Pool Pond Retaining wall Sundial

After restoration

Lion's Head Fountain and Splash Pool Pond Retaining wall Sundial
pdf Marine Cove Heritage Trail [251.2KB]