The Friends of the Pump Room Gardens (FPRG) were formed in 2008 as a result of an invitation from WDC to raise money to restore the Pump Room Gardens (PRG) including the Victorian arches under the avenue of lime trees known as the Linden Arches. The invitation was to the Leamington Society and the Central Leamington Residents Association (CLARA), joined later by two other organisations – the Royal Leamington Spa Building Conservation Trust and the Warwickshire Gardens Trust. This partnership then worked with WDC to achieve a major renewal of the PRG.
The PRG are the earliest part of a chain of gardens, known as the Spa Gardens of Leamington, stretching from Newbold Comyn in the east to Victoria Park in the west. These are designated as Grade II on the English Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England (Reference No.GD 1471), one of around 1,600 such parks and gardens in the country. For numerical comparison there are over 400,000 listed buildings.
The gardens were opened in 1814 for patrons of the Pump Room and Baths. In 1876 the public were allowed unrestricted 24/7 access and the gardens became regarded as Leamington’s village green. They still are.
The layout of the PRG was determined by William Louis de Normanville, Leamington Borough Surveyor 1882-1917. The gardens changed little through the 20th century.
The PRG lie in a flood plain; the banks of river Leam were built up to give some limited protection from the river over flowing. Nevertheless in wet weather the ground quickly becomes waterlogged and is slow to drain due to the underlying clay.