Northampton Zoological Gardens , Franklin Gardens , Northampton (approx 1880 – 1910)

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Northampton Zoological Gardens , Franklins Gardens (formerly Melbourne Gardens) Northamptonshire … This establishment is believed to have begun in approx 1880 …. The site was originally known as Melbourne Gardens and was owned by a John Collier … little is known about the animal collection here … Mr Collier died in 1886 and the Gardens were purchased by a John Franklin a local hotelier (Franklins Hotel in the Guildhall Road ) in 1887 Mr Franklin renamed the Gardens “Franklins Gardens ” by 1888 Mr Franklin sold the Gardens for ¬£17,000 to Northampton Brewery Co (who were founded in 1887) The brewery began to invest heavily in the park and for the first time we learn there was a Bear Pit and Monkeys … a running track, bicycle track, cricket ground, swimming pool, a large ornamental lake, an improved monkey house and a larger zoological garden.
The Northampton Saints Rugby team moved their club to Franklin Gardens at the end of the 1880’s and still play there today in a much expanded Stadium
The Zoo continued to run until it is reported 1910 when it closed …
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