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Pannett Art Gallery and Park In Whitby
A noteworthy addition to Whitbys amenities is the Pannett Park, which was opened on August 1st, 1928, by Sir Hugh Bell. Ten acres in extent, it is situated in the most sheltered position in the town, between Bagdale, Chubb Hill Road, and St. Hilda’s Terrace. To visitors it comes as a surprise to find such a delightful retreat, providing rest and shelter from the cold winds which sometimes prevail, even during the summer months
The most was made of the site, and some delightful terraced walks, with seats placed at points where charming views may be obtained, are provided; and the flowers and shrubs have been chosen to ensure a profusion of bloom throughout the greater part of the year. From the steps of the Art Gallery, as elsewhere in the grounds, a panoramic view of rural and moorland scenery is obtained, and a morning or afternoon spent in the Park constitutes a pleasant variation from beach pleasures or a succession of excursions into the delightful district around Whitby.
The Park and Art Gallery is a monument to the foresight and public spirit of County Alderman R. E. Pannett, a leading solicitor in the town, who was for many years Clerk to the town authority. In 1901, the site of the Park, then occupied as market gardens and a small dairy farm, was about to come into the market for building sites, and Alderman Pannett negotiated its purchase. He died in July, 1920, and by his will appointed four trustees to carry out his intention of converting the land into gardens of rest for Whitby, and to provide a building for housing his valuable collection of works of art. The grounds were artistically transformed into exquisitely landscaped gardens. It is questionable whether a more compact park exists anywhere in the country. In addition to the walks, flower beds, shrubs etc, there is a delightful rock garden.
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The spacious shelter and lily pond near the Bagdale entrance of the Park were given by the widow and daughters of Captain Thomas Kirby, an old friend of the donor of the Park. The aviary bequeathed by the late Miss Kirby is situated near the children’s·’ swings on the top level near the