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The Derby Arboretum

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The city of Derby recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of Britain's first publicly-owned park, the Derby Arboretum. Officially opened on September 16th, 1840, it was the gift of one of the foremost citizens of the town (as it then was), Joseph Strutt.

Former mayor of the borough, the seventy-five year-old Strutt was a silk merchant and mill-owner who, for a small charge, opened his house near the centre of town to the public on Sunday afternoons to view his art collection. Strutt and his family had been used to spending part of every summer at a small estate of eleven acres about a mile south, on the edge of town; it was this that he presented to his fellow citizens, suitably transformed, which became known as the Derby Arboretum.

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