Castle Park Transformation Set For Construction
Published 9th August 2022
artist impression of new community room
Work to transform Castle Park and surrounding area in Bishop’s Stortford is set to begin with archaeological assessments commencing this week and construction set to start on 22 August to deliver:
  • New footpaths and bridge links over the river to improve connectivity between Castle Park, Sworders Field and Castle Gardens.
  • Improved access to the historical remains of Waytemore Castle, including conservation work to preserve the castle masonry.
  • Major refurbishment of Markwell Pavilion to modernise facilities including new community rooms for hire, public toilets and Changing Places facility.
  • New community garden with café and terrace.
  • Development of space for use by older children including a skate park with Parkour gymnastic style equipment.
  • Habitat improvements along the River Stort.
  • Landscape works to make features of the castle mound and the war memorial.

Visitors will be re-directed onto alternative footpaths when areas are cordoned off during construction phases.  This week the archaeological assessments commence around the Markwell Pavilion ahead of the old toilet block being refurbished and the garages being demolished to make way for the new facilities that include community studio rooms for hire and a new public toilet block including a Changing Places facility,

The tennis courts will close on 22 August but alternative facilities are available in the town at Bishop’s Stortford Lawn Tennis Club, Herts and Essex Sports Centre and Bishop’s Stortford College.  New tennis facilities are being built as part of the project to the north of Sworder’s Field and are due for completion early 2023.

The contractors Harrisons, Ryebridge and PGSD will do their utmost to avoid disruption for visitors.  Pathway closures and diversions will be added to ensure park users are made aware of temporary routes. If anyone has any concerns or questions they can contact:  01279 655261.

Commenting on the start of work to transform the Castle Park area, Executive Member for Wellbeing at East Herts Council, Eric Buckmaster said:

“Castle Park has many elements to it from the history of Waytemore Castle, the community hub at Markwell Pavilion and space to explore nature along the river and footpaths and the aim of this project is not only to improve the services and facilities on offer but improve the connectivity and open it up to more frequent visitors.

“There will inevitably be some disruption whilst the work is carried out and I would like to thank residents in advance for their patience and understanding while these works are carried out.

“Castle Park sits in the heart of Bishop’s Stortford town centre and we want to ensure that it is looked after and developed for residents to enjoy and use for many, many years to come.”

For further information about the Castle Park Project visit: www.eastherts.gov.uk/castle-park 

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Castle Park project is supported by funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Community Fund and being delivered by East Herts Council and Bishop’s Stortford Town Council and managed by Hertfordshire County Council’s Countryside Management Services.