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While the Victorian ideal of the public park is well understood, we know less of how local governors sought to realize this ideal in practice. This article is concerned with park-making as a process – contingent, unstable, open – rather than with parks as outcomes – determined, settled, closed. It details how local governors bounded, designed and regulated park spaces to differentiate them as 'spaces apart' within the city, and how this programme of spatial governance was obstructed, frustrateddoi:10.1017/s0963926820000449 fatcat:gcjlnjvyvfh4foi5gojey5fix4