The Henge arrives in Princes Park


A spectacular wooden henge has been built in Princes Park in Liverpool, as part of a project to encourage intergenerational activities and bring residents old and young together.

The Henge has been constructed near the Devonshire Belvedere gates of the park, and is made from reclaimed wood and trees to create a unique seating area and tower where visitors can rest and explore.

Arts and crafts activities, talks and performances are already taking place at the Henge, and it will officially launch in spring next year to tie in with festivities to mark 150 years since the death of Joseph Paxton, who designed the park, located in the L8 area of the city.

The Henge Project was set up by the Friends of Princes Park (FOPP), with the assistance of Plus Dane’s youth engagement team and Liverpool Youth Service. The organisations had each realised that unlike other parks in the city, there were no specific areas or activities for young people in Princes Park.

Sculptor John Merrill, who specialises in large scale, outdoor works, and potter John Ayling are the artists behind the Henge. It was funded by People’s Health Trust through the Health Lottery, Liverpool City Council, and Friends of Princes Park.

Lisa Cover, neighbourhood engagement officer for Plus Dane, said: “When we heard about the Henge we thought it was a fantastic opportunity to bring residents and young people together. We have already done activity sessions in the park and there has been a lot of community interest.”

Gail Goodwin, senior practitioner at Liverpool City Council youth and play services said: “This project has been great for bringing different generations together. The young people have worked with the elder members of community over the last three years on the design and also fundraising to make the Henge grow from an idea to reality. We look forward to continuing this intergenerational project and working towards the launch in April 2015.”

Katy Gardner, chair of FOPP, said: “This will be an exciting space to enjoy, relax, observe the world and perform in. The Henge is inspired by ancient monuments and as such, on midsummer’s day the Henge platform will face the rising sun.”

Princes Park ward councillor Alan Dean said: "The Henge is an innovative project planned and designed by Friends of Princes Park in conjunction with local young people. It is an imaginative project that's a wonderful addition to the already stunning Princes Park - and it will undoubtedly be a wonderful and thought provoking space for people, young and old, to enjoy for many years to come."

Future activities will be arranged for young people by Plus Dane and FOPP, but the Henge will be a community resource open to all, that will serve as a lasting legacy to Joseph Paxton.

There will be a Victorian festival to launch the Henge in spring 2015.