It was soon after this episode that the Common was converted into a Park. The ground, including all the Common and the site of the Pound, was handed over by the Duchy of Cornwall (by Act of Parliament), to be laid out as "Pleasure grounds for the recreation of the public; but if it cease to be so maintained" to "revert to the Duchy."
The transformation has been very successful, and the design was suitable and well conceived. The large greens are divided by wide paths shaded by trees, and each section can be closed in turn to preserve the grass. There is a sunk formal garden, bedded out with bright flowers, which show up well on the green turf; and at one end there are shrubberies with twisting walks in the style that is truly characteristic of the English Park, and seems to appeal to so many people. The whole space is not large, but the most is made of it, and both the formal and the "natural" sections have their attractions. At the "natural" end, near the church-which, by the way, was built as a thank-offering after Waterloo-is a handsome granite drinking - fountain, designed by Driver, and presented by Mr. Felix Slade; and in the centre of the Park is a fountain, given by Sir Henry Doulton, with a group of figures by Tinworth, emblematic of "The Pilgrimage of Life." The Lodge was the model lodging-house erected by the Prince Consort in the Great Exhibition of 1851.