The Cost of Beaumont Park (December 1883)

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After the formalities of handing over Dungeon Wood for the creation of Beaumont Park in May 1880, work began in earnest on planning and layout out the park, making safe the more dangerous parts of the wood, and constructing the various buildings and facilities.

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Initially, a figure of around £5,000 was mooted as the total cost for opening the park. However, as work progressed, the costs kept on rising.

By July 1882, the Borough Accountant had submitted a statement of expenditure stating the sum spent to date was £9,418 11s. 1d.

By January 1884, it was reported at a Town Council meeting that the total costs were now £22,495 8s. 6d., and some Councillors voiced concerns that this was now in excess of £1,000 per acre of land.1

In December 1883, the Huddersfield Chronicle published a breakdown of the cost for the year ending 31 August 1883, as reported in the Borough Fund Account:2

£ s. d.
W.J. Dunderdale, Charges, re Plan of Park 12 12 5
Tenants’ Compensation 0 14 6
Advertising and Cab Hire 3 5 6
ROADS
Coventry Art Metal Co., Palisading (balance) 323 3 6
Manual Labour and Teamwork 705 11 5
Stone and Dross 84 15 9
Coal, Oil, and Sundries 14 9 7
LODGE
Manual Labour and Teamwork 3 5 5
Stone and Bricks 3 10 2
Timber and Joiners’ Work 123 18 5
Plumbers’ Work 38 8 4
Plasterers’ Work 73 7 0
Spoating, £10 15s. 6d. ; Iron Fixtures, &c., £11 3s. 3d. 21 9 2
LAYING OUT
Manual Labour and Teamwork 5,257 10 2
Timber, Iron, Tools, &c. 323 16 11
Joiners’ and Plumbers’ Work, &c. 19 12 3
Stone, Lime, Cement, &c. 288 0 2
Pot Pipes, £198 19s. ; Iron Pipes, &c., £17 8s. 7d. 216 7 7
Coal, Tar and Oil 29 17 10
Plants, £216 2s. 2d. ; Seats, £63 2s. 279 4 2
R.L. Lowe, Concreting Lakes (on account) 160 0 0
W. Goodwin and Sons, Slaters’ Work at Band Stand (on account) 28 0 0
T. Longbottom and Sons, Concreting at Band Stand (on account) 7 19 0
£8,197 18 3

In modern terms, this reported annual cost was around £1,000,000.

A separate Chronicle opinion piece gave the total cost of Beaumont Park by 31 August 1883 as £18,328 18s. 11d. They then bemoaned the fact that the land value of Dungeon Wood was likely only £1,500.

Whilst this was indeed a sizable amount of money, they noted that the total expenditure on Greenhead Park so far was £37,338 16s. 6d.

From 1884 onwards, the Beaumont Park Committee came under increasing pressure from the Town Council — particularly Councillor Chrispin — to ensure the park was completed as prudently as possible.

Footnotes

  1. Roughly the equivalent in modern terms of £100,000 per acre.
  2. See Huddersfield Chronicle (07/Dec/1883)

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