Name chosen for new Remembrance Park in Shrewsbury
The proposed new Remembrance Park at Bowbrook in Shrewsbury – due to open in early 2014 – is set to be known as Mytton Oak Remembrance Park, following a public consultation in which people were invited to suggest a name.
The choice of name recognises the location of the new Park just off Mytton Oak Road, which took its name, in 1934, from the fact that land in the area once belonged to the Mytton family.
To recognise the origins of the Remembrance Park’s chosen name, Shropshire Council plans to plant at the site an oak tree which descends from the Shelton Oak – a tree which for more than 600 years stood close to the remembrance park site on the land once owned by the Mytton family – and from which the name Mytton Oak is thought to originate.
Though the Shelton Oak died in the 1940s, documents show that in the 1880s an oak tree, grown from one of its acorns, was planted in the Dingle in The Quarry.
Now, Shropshire Council plans to take an acorn from the tree in the Dingle and use it to grow an oak tree at the new Remembrance Park – providing a link back to the original tree.
The new Remembrance Park would enable Shropshire Council and its bereavement services contractor, The Co-operative, to continue to provide burial services to the people of Shropshire for the next 100 years once Emstrey cemetery closes to new burials in around two years’ time. It will also provide an opportunity for woodland burials, and include areas for quiet reflection.
More than 30 name suggestions were put forward for consideration by members of the public and council staff and, of these, Mytton Oak Remembrance Park was the unanimous choice of Shropshire Council officers and councillors working on the project.
A planning application for the Mytton Oak Remembrance Park is due to be submitted in December 2012, and it is hoped planning permission will be granted in early 2013. Construction work would then begin in spring 2013, with the Remembrance Park scheduled to open in spring 2014.
Mike Owen, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for bereavement services, said:
“I’d like to thank all the people who suggested a name for the new Remembrance Park, and all those who took the time to view the plans at our public consultation events and on the council website.
“We believe Mytton Oak is a very fitting name for the new Remembrance Park, recognising the location of the site, but also providing a chance to recognise and mark the history of the name.
“It’s fascinating that, with help from Shropshire Archives, we have been able to trace the history of the Shelton Oak, which we believe is the origin of the Mytton Oak name. By planting an oak at the new Remembrance Park that is a historical descendant of the original Shelton Oak, we’ll be able to continue a historic link that goes back more than 600 years and hopefully continue this link for hundreds of years to come.”
The site for the new Remembrance Park is currently a greenfield site close to Mytton Oak Road and near to the Bowbrook allotments.
It is estimated that developing the new site would cost £1.1million, and this sum is included within the council’s capital programme.
(1) Records show that in 1824 the Mytton family sold the land on which the Shelton Oak stood, and that the Mytton’s “gret (sic) mansion” lay on the north side of the tree.
(2) The Shelton Oak is also often referred to as the Glendower Oak, as Owen Glendower is rumoured to have watched the Battle of Shrewsbury from the tree in 1403 when his troops were unable to reach the battlefield.
(3) In a letter to the Shrewsbury Town Clerk in 1953 (which was passed to the borough librarian), a Commander Waring Saxton tells of finding a note written by his late grandfather, Dr Charles Waring Saxton, in which he describes how, on 5 February 1880, he planted a sapling at The Elms in Shrewsbury, that had been grown from an acorn from the Shelton Oak.
A subsequent memo sent from the Shrewsbury borough librarian to the Town Clerk in April 1953, says that there was an article in the ‘Transactions of the Caradoc and Severn Valley Field Club 1916’ entitled “Some historic oaks of Shropshire”. This memo says that this article “states that there is a small oak tree in the Dingle which bears an inscription to the effect that it was raised from an acorn from Owen Glendower’s Oak at Shelton and planted about 1880.”