The Esplanade is a public sports venue in a very scenic and green part of town. Often used as a training and competition ground by local sports teams and individuals, this well-maintained field also often hosts sports tournaments and other events. Crowds of people can be seen engaging in various sports activities on any afternoon with reasonable weather conditions.
The Esplanade is under the management and maintenance of the Taiping City Council, and can be booked as an event venue.
Nearby are other popular sports venues and landmarks. The Lake Gardens and Perak State Museum are both just a short walk from the field, but in different directions. The nearby Taiping New Club provides nourishment and relaxation after a hard day of sports or sightseeing. A rest house is conveniently located on one of the streets along the field, and is a great location to stay if one plans on touring the older parts of the city. The Officer’s Mess has been closed to the public since the Covid-19 Movement Restriction Order was enforced in March 2020.
History of the Esplanade
The Esplanade was originally laid out in 1890 as the Parade Square and was used as a marching and procession grounds by the then Perak Armed Police. At the time, it was more commonly referred to as “The Field”. The Field was commonly used as a sporting venue, with cricket being very popular at the time. Mentions have been made about it being one of the better playing fields in the Malay States at the time. Surrounding the Esplanade were several notable buildings: the New Club and Perak Club were on opposing ends of the field and frequently translated their rivalry on The Field, the British Officer’s Mess is on the same road as the New Club, and the British Garrison barracks and the All Saints Church were on another side of the field. Most of these buildings are still preserved and functional today. The Lake Gardens is only a stones throw away.
The Esplanade was commissioned by a Lt. Col. Robert Sandilands Frowd Walker, a key figure in the history of Taiping. A statue of Walker is still standing in the grounds of the nearby Perak State Museum.
The Esplanade in Taiping has continued to be used as a sporting venue to this day, and is now 130 years old. It is stop number 30 on the Taiping Heritage Trail.
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