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The Victoria Playing Field

About the Playing Field
The Victoria Playing Field is a public park in the city of St. Albans in the South East of England, located between Verulam Road (A5183), Folly Lane (A414) and Church Crescent, to the southwest of the city centre and Abbey. This is an urban location, where space is at a premium - most people have small gardens, or no garden at all - and the park provides a valuable and beautiful space where local residents can relax, walk their dogs, meet and play sport. It also provides an important "green lung", improving the air quality in an area busy with traffic.

The Victoria Playing Field, and New England Fields (more commonly referred to locally as the "Brickie") were in use as claypits at the start of the nineteenth century, and are said by tradition to have been Roman brickfields. There is also much evidence to suggest that the unusual contours of both parks, and the surrounding area, formed the ramparts of Kingsbury Castle, which was destroyed in the tenth century - excavations as part of the building of Verulam Road in the 19th century gave credence to this claim. There is more information about Kingsbury Castle on the following pages:

Kingsbury Castle Part 1 - extract from "A History of Hertfordshire"

Kingsbury Castle Part 2 - extract from "St. Albans & Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society Transactions 1905".

The Playing Field was given to the town in 1898 as a gift by Charles and Mary Woollam, as a playground for children. Charles Woollam was a local philanthropist who owned the Silk Mills, acted as a magistrate, and was Mayor three times.

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