Summer Street, between Clinton and Sampson Streets, part of the Precinct of Central Orange.
Statement of Significance
The area that is now Cook Park was proclaimed in 1873, with the name Cook Park applied in 1882 and planting begun in about 1890. It represents an excellent example of High Victorian park design in the Australian colonial context, with a series of paths radiating from the central hub of the bandstand and fountain.
The park has a mix of formal and informal spaces which are separated by the three main axial pathways and a series of less formal and informal spaces that meander through the gardens. Signature elements such as the duck pond, fountain and bandstand are scattered throughout the park in an informal yet deliberate manner.
Cook Park has some of the finest examples of mature exotic species in the State, including Elms, Oaks, Poplars, Willows, Pines, Cypress and Redwoods.
The Register of the National Estate has recognised Cook Park as having significance for its High Victorian design, wide range of cultural features, outstanding mature plantings and its standing as a part of Orange’s social life for over a century. Orange City Council recognises Cook Park as a Schedule 8 Heritage Item of State Significance in the Orange Local Environment Plan 2000. The Council has also developed a Cook Park Plan of Management.
Objects and Elements: Cook Park
The leafy oasis of the park contributes to the appeal of the surrounding streets. Late-Victorian to Bungalow style architecture has a synergy with the Victorian style of Cook Park.
The position of Cook Park on the City’s main street, Summer Street gives a prominence to the park within the overall townscape. The walls and gates give a sense of containment and exclusion to the outside whilst in the park. Two sets of cast iron gates mark two of the entry points to the park and provide a grand sense of arrival.
Built in 1887 as a caretaker’s cottage. For ninety years the two generations, a father and a son, lived with their families in the cottage as caretakers of the park. It has now been converted to the Park Guildry.
Located just within the Summer Street and Clinton Street gate and forming a formidable entrance statement, the German Gun was one of many captured and brought back to Australia during WWI. The cannon originally formed part of the defensive installations on Sydney Harbour and was obtained by Orange From Sydney City Council in 1870.
The Blowes Conservatory
The Frank Mullholland Memorial Sunken Garden
The duck pond dates to around 1908 and was originally built to complement an earlier small lake that was located at the site of the sunken garden. The inclusion of water bodies within the park is a typical feature of English gardens of the day.