A major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has led to an innovative public history project designed to raise awareness of the historical significance of Birkenhead Park which, when opened in April 1847, was the first public park in Britain. The paper focuses on the problems implicit in reinterpreting the public history of an important civic park in terms of the interpretative conflicts, tensions, and synergies between academic research, curricular constraints, popular expectations, and the dominant agendas of funding agencies and local government.

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