Cedars Park Wooden Animals
A wooden elephant, tiger and camel were added to Cedars Park
around 2014 as part of a restoration project funded by a Heritage Lottery
grant. There was a menagerie at Theobalds Palace, which had:
five camels, mules, flying squirrels, a sable, a white
hind, elk, fifty herons, twenty French fowl, and an elephant.
It was reported in 1623 that the elephant was fed a gallon of wine
each day during cold times to keep warm.
Alongside the animals, there was formerly a puzzle totem pole depicting
faces and outfits of people from the Elizabethan, Tudor and Georgian eras.
These were in three axised sections, so that people could mix up the costumes
and try to work out which sections match. This was an excellent feature
that was fun for children and adults alike, but unfortunately
it rotted over the years due to little or no preservation effort from the
local authority, and most of the base was missing (perhaps due to vandals
who could easily kick off the soft wood). Consequently, it was removed from the park
in early May 2022.
The tiger is also in a bad state
(the arms are missing) for the same reasons, and it may also end up
having to be removed in the future! The paint on all the
animals has faded over the years and they are significantly less vibrant than
when first installed. It seems that those responsible at the time did not
make the appropriate decision to use a "preservative" paint.