Victoria Park was opened to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1899 as part of the Corporation’s plan to provide more recreation space for the growing town, especially its children. Throughout the 19th century it was Leamington’s village green, the venue for galas, military parades, flower shows, circuses and cricket.
The riverside path, New River Walk, had been laid out in the early 1860s along the south bank of the River Leam, its winding course smoothed out and widened to speed the flow of its (then) polluted water. The borough engineer, William de Normanville, skilfully created the park’s ovoid central space from an odd-shaped site – the perimeter drive was exactly half a mile in length for running.
Victoria Park has hosted many events, notably the Royal Show, festivities for the coronation of King George VI and, in 1996, Women’s World Bowls, which honoured Leamington by returning in 2004.