Angel Ridge Play Area

14th May 2016

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Not having got any small children I’m not au fait with the town’s play parks. However, I have a friend with a small daughter and sometimes visit a play park with them- and a few weeks ago we went to the Angel Ridge play park. It’s taken me weeks to get round to posting on it!

The who, the what, the where

You’ll find the Angel Ridge play area on the site of Swindon’s original NHS hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital,  now redeveloped as a residential housing site.

According to Building Construction Design – http://www.buildingconstructiondesign.co.uk/news/angel-ridge-play-area-swindon/‘Swindon Council had the task of creating a challenging and exciting play area that referenced the rich heritage of the site, keeping the local residents on side and also improving links with the surrounding communities. They worked with Timberplay, selecting the best products to suit the site and its heritage.’

As the article goes on to say:Angel Ridge is a linear development, situated along a ridge, hence the name. When embarking on research for the site, Swindon Council Landscape Architect, Andrew Norris found that the bones of an Ichthyosaur (marine dinosaur) were discovered nearby, which then went on to find fame on Blue Peter. This pre-historic relic inspired the use of fossils throughout the site, with hidden replica fossils secreted in the sand area and a giant ammonite heralding the start of the play site. “

One of the key features of the site is the weighty Turning Stone, a huge 5 tonne boulder which even small children can easily rotate. This is personalised with an inscription, a poem by Jane Evans that summed up the overarching themes of the scheme:

“Up here, 

Nudging the sky,

You’re no more

Than a pinprick

On the timeline

Stretched taut

By lynchet and tumulus

And the tremendous

Secrets of the rock

Time out of mind

Under turf and furz”

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