In the Park

Hotham Park Heritage Trust (HPHT), currently a registered charity, is in the process of being closed with the intention of becoming a charitable organisation to be known as Friends of Hotham Park (FoHP).
Click this link for an update on the situation, including details of how to contact FoHP

Mad Hatter’s Copse and Alice in Wonderland sculpture trail

As well as protecting the heritage of Sir Richard Hotham, founder of the town, and the Park’s status as a conservation area, as created by William Fletcher, Hotham Park Heritage Trust was dedicated to improving the facilities within the Park for everyone. This was achieved, in the main, by raising funds at our events. We were then able to fund either entirely, or make a contribution towards, various attractions.

A recent addition to the Park was a magnificent hand-carved wooden sculpture which is situated in the ‘Mad Hatter’s Copse’ to the east of the Mary Macfie pavilion. It was crafted by Simon Groves and depicts the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from the story of Alice in Wonderland. The design is an 8ft x 2.5ft table with clocks in each corner, playing cards down the centre and 8 mushrooms as seating, with the Mad Hatter as a separate figure. It will be a permanent feature in the Park and we hope it will be enjoyed by everyone for many years to come.

Mad Hatter
Mad Hatter

The theme of Alice in Wonderland was chosen by children from local schools and the full cost of the sculpture was met from funds raised at the Hotham Park Heritage Trust Country Fair which was held over the first weekend of August 2016. We were also delighted that income from the 2017 Country Fair allowed us to unveil even more sculptures.  These are of Alice, the White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts and the unveiling was on 27 May 2018. Make sure you follow the trail next time you are in the Park!

As our main motivation was to protect the Park and improve the facilities for everyone we were delighted to see families enjoy this new sculpture, as seen in the pictures below. Long may this continue!

Mad Hatter's Party
Mad Hatter's Party

It took Simon 15 days to carve the Mad Hatter figure and picnic table. All the pieces weigh just over a ton in total and were carved using a chainsaw with sanding by Simon’s assistant, Harrison, to take the roughness off. It is Simon’s seventh year as a sculptor and this is one of the largest things he has made. Here are some pictures of the carving in progress.

Mad Hatter
Mad Hatter
Mad Hatter

Mad Hatter
Mad HatterMad Hatter

Hotham Park Sundial – Enjoy TIME in the Park!

There is now a magnificent new Sundial in Hotham Park. The original was removed years ago after being vandalised and was replaced with an ordinary Sundial. When the value of the original was assessed it was placed in the Arun District Council safe although, unfortunately, the original gnomon (the vertical shadow stick) had disappeared.

This project started when the replacement Sundial had been vandalised yet again, the gnomon had been broken off and it was suggested that we buy a few plastic sundials that could be replaced cheaply and often. The original pedestal had also been damaged by a vehicle and moved out of place.

Hotham Park Heritage Trust decided to see whether it was viable to replace the original with a vandal-proof replica.

We found a brilliant Sundial maker, Harriet James, who was excited to discover that the original was a double horizontal Sundial made by Henry Wynne, very rare and interesting (her words). It had multiple lines and curves within the inner circle giving times of sunrise, sunset, day length etc. Harriet suggested that the replacement should be simplified to give time and compass directions and include date curves for summer and winter solstices and the equinoxes to replace the stereo grid but be in the original 17th century style of Henry Wynne. She described how she could fit the sections through the pedestal with a stainless-steel dowel and security fixings to make it ‘bomb-proof’ which was a big element in our decision to go ahead.

Drawing of the new Sundial
(c) Harriet James

The Sundial has been crafted, the pedestal repaired and the finished article is now proudly installed. We hope you enjoy using our amazing new Hotham Park Sundial and are very proud that the endeavours of Hotham Park Heritage Trust have made this happen.

Drawing of the new gnomon
(c) Harriet James

Next time you are in Hotham Park have a look and see how easy it is to tell the time using the Sundial, remembering that it will always show the time in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

For details of how to read the Sundial click here.

Here is the ‘journey’ in pictures:

Harriet taking accurate measurements of the original Sundial
The old, damaged pedestal – a vehicle had moved it out of position
Original Sundial, showing double horizontal stereo grid

A temporary replacement gnomon
Collecting the original pedestal from Hotham Park
New Sundial in the 17th century style of Henry Wynne, the original maker

Sir Richard Hotham’s crest
The new Sundial
The new Sundial

Next time you are in Hotham Park have a look and see how easy it is to tell the time using the Sundial, remembering that it will always show the time in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Hotham Park Tree Trail

In conjunction with The Bognor Regis Heritage Partnership

Maidenhair Tree

There are many rare and interesting trees in Hotham Park and we are thrilled to have created a trail round the Park which identifies some of the more interesting and unusual trees within it.

These include the Maidenhair Tree, Tulip Tree, Holm Oak, Silver Birch, Coastal Redwood, Weeping Copper Beech, Caucasian Wingnut Tree, Ash Tree, Southern Magnolia, Sweetgum Tree, Fan Palm, Indian Bean Tree, Cork Oak and many more.

Caucasian Wingnut Tree
The trail is approximately 1 mile long and should take about 60-90 minutes. It is suitable for families with young children or anyone with an interest in trees – from beginner to specialist. There are plenty of places to stop and have a rest should you wish to do so.   For full details click here.

This has been produced in conjunction with The Bognor Regis Heritage Partnership which has many more exciting trails including:

  • The Richard Hotham Trail – encompassing Hotham Park and the town of Bognor (before the Regis was added!)
  • Bognor Regis Sea Front ‘Fun and Facts’ Trail
  • Bognor Regis Town Trail
  • Bognor Regis Blue Plaque Trail
  • Bognor Regis Pier and Western Bognor Regis Trail

Be sure to follow them all – when time allows!

Flora and Fauna

There are plenty of beautiful scenes in the Park, as shown on the flickr slideshow below which has over 100 pictures for you to enjoy. Look out for the carved wooden owl which is one of the many hidden gems you can find.

To view the slideshow click on the arrows to the right or left of the pictures. To see the show in full screen, click on an image and then choose the full screen option when redirected to flickr, which takes a few seconds to fully load.

Special thanks to Neil Cooper of Shepherd Media for taking these pictures and creating the slideshow.

Hotham Park Bognor Regis

For a slideshow of the Flora and Fauna in the Park, click here.

A Snowy Delight – Hotham Park in the Snow

Bognor Regis is usually at the top of the sunshine league for the entire UK. Winters in Bognor Regis are often relatively mild and significant amounts of snow are a rare occurance. In February/March of 2018 there was a reasonable snowfall and Hotham Park Heritage Trust, thanks to Neil Cooper of Shepherd Media – for braving the cold and taking and donating the pictures below – is pleased to show Hotham Park in all it’s snowy glory!

For more pictures click here.

Hotham Park by Drone

Enjoy stunning views of Hotham Park and the surrounding area from the air. Please click on the image below to begin your journey of discovery!

With thanks to Neil Cooper of Shepherd Media for donating this footage.

There are many more exciting attractions in Hotham Park including:

Please click on the above images to visit the relevant websites.

For further enjoyment look for the following when you are in Hotham Park:

Boating Lake
Boating Lake

Childrens' Playground in Hotham Park
Childrens’ Playground

The Ornamental Pond
The Ornamental Pond

© Hotham Park Heritage Trust – Registered Charity Number 1117011