Tinwald Domain Board

Established: 1878, first board: W.C. walker, E.G. Wright, J. Carter (Chairman), J. Beswick, J. Grigg.

Notable history: In 1878, the County Council applied to the Government for a 50 acre recreation reserve – what they got instead was an enormous 230 acre block of land to work with.

The Board was appointed, and they held their first meetings in the County Council office, and then held their meetings at the Tinwald Hotel after 1890.

In 1879, the Board was granted £150 to make improvements, and in 1881 the first steps towards the domain we see today were taken under Chairman P. Cox.

In 1884, the Tinwald Cricket Club were granted 10 acres of Domain land to rent.

As early as 1888, a Domain pond was considered, and so £100 was set aside for this purpose and tenders were sought.

The Tinwald Racing Club moved to a new track in the Domain in 1889, complete with a grandstand, enclosure, and in 1890 a three-room judge’s box was put in.

In 1892, the pond island was formed and imported perch were so abundant that a good few residents were caught fishing for supper in the Domain.

By 1896, the running track had been formed.

From 1900 to 1905, two tennis courts were erected on the Domain land.

By 1900, the Tinwald Domain had become a veritable sports centre, but the Board and the eager citizens of the area were not quite finished.

By 1911, they had decided on a swimming bath – it would be 66 yards by 15 yards, costing the Board £78.

The bath was 8 feet deep at its most extreme, which some thought to be too deep, and so in 1958 the pool was remodelled and made shallower.

Through the 1960s, a generous amount of playground equipment was donated by Mr and Mrs Hulme.

Golf was on the Board’s radar too – in 1967 the Board signed off 40 acres to the new Golf Club, who received a further 58 acres in 1969.

The Domain has grown and grown, and is now an extremely popular multipurpose recreation area.

The historical information on this page was sourced from Tinwald: A Canterbury Plains Settlement, written and published by E. R. Bayliss, 1970.