If you are taking a class remember that there are no public toilets in Rickerby Park
The history of Rickerby park is fascinating. The area was owned by a banker called George Head Head (not a misprint) and then Miles McInnes. The section now know as Rickerby Park was bought by the Citizen’s League in 1920 for £11,500 as a gift to the town. It was used for cattle grazing (and still is) and was a place for recreation including the Lido for swimming and sunbathing on the bank of the River Eden, by the footbridge. A photograph of this is available from cumbriaimagebank.org.uk
The carvingsNewspaper article about the carving in the park ://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/totem-pole-erected-in-carlisle-park-1.270560 The six-foot totem pole is the work of Alister Neville. He based the theme on the creatures of the park and the nearby River Eden, including a kingfisher, an otter, fish, frogs and a snail. Shortly after the book was written the kingfisher crowning the pole had to be removed because of the decay of the wood. It has been re-sited with the owl and the squirrel in the Chinese Gardens.
War memorialsThere are three memorials to the First World War: the footbridge, Chinese Gardens and the Cenotaph. These can be researched and their commemorative plaques found. During the cleaning and renovation of the cenotaph prior to the 100 year commemorations in 2014, a time capsule was discovered. It contained newspaper cuttings from 1922.
The stone circle
The Eden Rivers Trust created the seven 6ft-high stones in 2011. The diameter of the circle is about 7m
The stones have been hewn from six different rock types found in the Eden’s catchment area – Kirkstone slate, Shap limestone, Penrith sandstone, millstone grit, Lazonby sandstone and Shap granite.
A seventh stone in the centre provides a seat. Each stone has information about the rock’s origins engraved into it. For example, the wording for the Kirkstone slate stone reads: “Formed 460 million years ago from layers of volcanic ash and mineral deposits when England was 30 degrees south of the equator where South Africa is today. It is used for making roof and floor tiles and is seen in dry stone walls.