Princes Park was named after Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Alfred, who visited Melbourne. The area was named Princes Hill. The 97 acre Park was originally part of a 2,650 acre site suggested as a reservation for recreational purposes by Lieutenant Governor Charles Latrobe in 1845. It was proclaimed in 1854 and permanently reserved in 1873. In its early days, it was used as pasture for the Collingwood town herd. The park ranger’s report in 1866 indicates that the quality of the land was so poor that it would only carry 15 to 20 head of cattle. By the end of the decade, after ploughing and trenching, the removal of ‘dead and scrubby’ timber, and the filling in of gullies the park was supporting 90 head of cattle.
In 1868, Edward La Trobe Bateman was asked to ‘prepare plans for laying out Fawkner, Princes and Yarra Parks…for a sum not exceeding 100 pounds.'[l6] There is some uncertainty whether his plans were used. The layout of the park was dominated by the Melbourne General Cemetery, which occupied the centre of the park and later expand cd to the Lygon Street and Cemetery road boundaries.
The Crown Grant of 13 June, 1873 specified that Princes Park should be ‘used for the recreation and amusement of our subjects and people’. Read More