Mysterious grave which stands alone in Princes Park since 1926

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In the middle of Princes Park, in Toxteth, there’s a mysterious gravestone.

The stone stands alone, far from a cemetery but has become almost a feature in the popular park.

The inscription on the headstone reads as such: "In Memory of Judy, who in 21 years service to this park was the children's’ friend, died 12th August 1926, aged 26.

"Judy had lived 26 long years, worked hard across the park not just keeping children happy, but also working to help the gardeners."

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For those visiting the park it may not be clear who this popular Judy was.

However Judy was in fact, a donkey.

She had been a beloved animal of Princes Park for the first quarter of the 20th century.

The children had often brought sticky buns for Judy and men around the park would also cut slices of thick-twist tobacco.

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Judy the Donkey, second from left, is buried at her favourite grazing spot in Princes Park

All to sate her sweet tooth which led to her teeth ending up stained brown.

At the time Judy was around in Princes Park it was a public park, but much of it was privately owned and residents had keys to the private gardens.

Fay Carter, of Friends of Princes Park, researched into Judy’s history, and spoke to people who knew her.

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The grandson of the parks’ superintendent at the time recalled to her how Judy wasn’t just a donkey for children’s pleasure riding.

She was however, a working animal before she brought joy to the children of Liverpool.

She helped in the gardens, often pulling a small cart around which carried leaves and soil and rocks and turf and plants.

Judy the donkey was such an important figure of the local community she was buried there in the park, where she remains today

She would also regularly pull a cart loaded with coal almost seven and a half miles to Tarbock.

She had done the journey so often she would stop both on the way their and back at one specific driveway in Childwall and refuse to move until she’s been given a sugar cube.

She then moved on to becoming a popular friend among children who would visit the park.

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She would give out rides for children for free, who would come to pet and feed her, and on her days off she would relax.

Judy seems to have become quite a local celebrity at the time – after all, how many donkeys are given graves – and she eventually retired in 1924.

Afterwards, she visited the park and sometimes made public appearances, before she died two years later.

She was buried on the site of her favourite grazing spot on August 12th, 1926, looking over the park she’d lived in life.

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