Canbury Gardens, located by the River Thames, nowadays provides visitors plenty of opportunities for recreation. Centuries ago, the area was used as a grazing land for animals; it was later used as a pit for extracting gravel before falling into disuse. The local council decided to turn it into a public park and it officially opened in 1890. In 1998 a section of the park was used to build properties amid protest from locals who did not want to see the destruction of the trees; today the 14.5 acres that the park encompasses contain tennis courts, a rowing club, children’s playground and the Boater’s Inn, a pub and venue for live jazz. There are regular regattas and rowing competitions during the summer, as well as live music performances. Canbury Pavilion, a former bowling pavilion, hosts diverse events throughout the year including exhibitions, public meetings, fundraising events and Christmas carol singing; it can also be hired for private parties. There is parking available for a fee.