Parks & Gardens in Manchester
Campaign for City Parks
in Manchester and Salford
From the time
of its City Charter, certain Manchester politicians began to urge
the purchase and provision of suitable open spaces where it might
build parks for the working people. The main campaigner for parks
had been Mark
Philips, MP, (after whom in the Park in Bradford is named).
seven years of intense campaigning before Manchester set up the
Committee for Public Walks, Gardens & Playgrounds, and opened
its first three public parks in 1846.
MP; Opening of Alexandra Park 1870; Band Performance at Heaton Park,Whit
Sunday 1914; Heaton Hall and Park
They were: Queen's
Park and Philips Park (in Manchester), and Peel Park (in Salford).
Before this time there had been no open spaces where working people
could relax or walk. Few houses, except those of the very wealthy,
even had back gardens, and any parks that did exist (including Heaton
Park and Wythenshawe Park) were in private ownership and not accessible
to the general public.
The first public park to be officially opened on the designated
day, was Peel Park in Salford, and was marked by the attendance
of the Mayor and Aldermen. There were formal opening ceremonies
heralded by trumpets and cannon fire.They had been purchased by
private subscriptions by rich and poor alike and were to be the
"clean lungs of the working city of Manchester". Later
that same day, Queens Park was officially opened to slightly less
ceremonial, and finally, Philips Park which was opened by Councillor
These were only the first of many. Many other parks followed, and
other acquisitions were made well into the twentieth century, with
Wythenshawe Park, Heaton
Park and Platt Fields in Rusholme being purchased by
the city in the early 20th century.
In 1856 John Shaw was appointed as first Inspector of Public Parks
for the City of Manchester, having already distinguished himself
with his designs for Stamford park in Altrincham. Heavily industrialised
though Manchester was, it took its civic duties very seriously,
and by the early 20th century it boasted more public parks than
any other English city outside London. What follows is a description
of most of them
& Salford Parks
three first parks of 1846 were created by Joshua Major with a specific
aim in mind - to cope with the "...promenading of large numbers
of persons". On holidays these parks were flooded with many thousands
of people, it being a convenient, close and cheap day out for working
families. At other times, park keepers reported as few as 20 visitors
a day, and mostly the unemployed at that. Park keepers were initially
not keen on thousands of visitors tramping over their lawns, the Head
Keeper at Philips describing them as "low elements", and
in 1859 sixty cast iron "Keep off the Grass" signs were
purchased - keepers were issued with caps, badges and whistles, and
enforced the rule strictly. People were regularly arrested and sentenced
to one day in prison for picking flowers or walking on seed beds.
The 31 acres of Philips Park had been purchased from Lady Houghton
for the sum of £6,300 and was/is located to the east of the
present A6010 near Miles Platting. It had winding pathways and extensive
water features, which were periodically prone to flooding. However,
there were other activities apart from walking on offer - the Park
offered a variety of recreation activities and sporting opportunities,
including skittles, quoits, archery, cricket, shuttlecocks (now called
badminton), "giant strides" (a sort of enormous maypole
which spun round quickly and was intended to exhaust children quickly
- it was a great success!) and swings. Children's play areas, called
"gymnasia", were provided, with seesaws swings and skipping
areas on offer. The Park offered several sports pitches and fields,
including space for hockey, football and tennis (introduced in 1868),
bowls (introduced in 1871), and cricket.
The flower beds were probably laid down by Major, and it became famed
locally for "Tulip Sunday", usually the first or second
Sunday in April, when some 50,000 tulips could be seen in bloom. Philips
was one of the first parks in Manchester to get a bowling green (in
1871), followed by tennis courts, with further improved facilities
right up to the 1900s. In 1920, the ornamental ponds were concreted
over and converted into boating and paddling pools.
There is a second Philips Park, in Whitefield, north of Manchester
and now in the Metropolitan Borough of Bury - previously known as
"The Park", this land was purchased by Robert Philips the
son of Nathaniel Philips (cofounder of J & N Philips & Co.)
of Stand Hall. Robert passed the estate on to his son Robert Needham
Philips (who was younger brother to Mark) who in turn bequeathed it
to his youngest daughter, Anna Maria Philips who occupied "The
Park" (120 acres) until her death in 1946 when it was purchased
by the Local Authority.
It is now known as 'Philips Park', but actually is the second one,
and should not be confused with the former Philips Park. Sadly the
house which once stood there was subsequently demolished, but the
stable yard buildings survive still as a Night Club - some feel it
might have been kinder to demolish the lot.
are indebted to Mr P Phillips, (no relation) for providing information
and assistance in creating the above entry.
the 19th Century, Chorlton belonged to the Manor of Withington, and,
as the suburbs spread in the 18th Century in response to rapid population
growth in the area, it was decided after a great deal of public pressure,
to create a public park on the western side of the district. An area
bordering Chorlton Brook, Nell Lane and Barlow Moor Road was chosen
as a suitable site - it had been farmland previously owned by the
Egerton family of Tatton Park.
But, constant prevarication followed and it was not until 1926 that
the site was actually purchased. The park was laid out and opened
to the public on May 5th 1928 and has changed very little since those
days. Bounded by shrubberies and flower borders it became a major
local attraction for working people with bowls, tennis, putting and
the childrens play areas.
Present day facilities include a Park Office and Visitors Centre,
Community Meeting Rooms, a Bowls Pavilion, an enclosed Bowling Green,
various Children's Playgrounds, a One Basketball Court, a Multisports
Area, Two 5 a-side Football Areas, Four Tennis Courts, Four Junior
Pitches, Children's Nursery, Mobile Security Patrols, a Small Car
Park with spaces for disabled people, Accessible Toilet, Skills Wall
and a Rose Garden. Chorlton Park was Green Flag Award Winner in 2003.
Water Park Local Nature Reserve
Water Park is the only Local Nature Reserve which covers 16 hectares
including woodlands, wildflower meadows and a lake. Developed from
a gravel pit, the site attracts thousands of visitors each year, catering
for activities including angling, ornithology, sailing and orienteering.
It is an ideal habitat to attract a diverse range of wildlife including
native crayfish, the Siberian pochard, reptiles, amphibians and insects.
Funding from a Wild Space Grant, administered by English Nature, has
been used to improve habitats for amphibians and reptiles, as well
as to increase opportunities for education within the park. The warden
service is continually improving the facilities of the park for the
benefit of both people and wildlife, and ongoing new projects are
scheduled for the following years.
Park, Whalley Range
Park, opened in 1868 in Whalley Range, a park measuring 60 acres,
had been purchased by the Corporation in 1868 and opened to the public
in 1870. It had been designed with a raised terrace lined with a half
mile long avenue of lime trees and was specifically intended for people
to stroll along - this avenue still survives today. The Park was intended
to promote a simple morale purpose - to keep families together in
shared recreation. The reality, however, was probably more mundane
- to dissuade men from spending their day of rest in alehouses. Despite
this model to family unity, boys and girls were given separate play
areas (for decency's sake). The competition to design the park had
been awarded to Alexander Hennel, and was the first to incorporate
ornamental features and sports facilities.
Several more extreme religious groups, notably the so-called Sabbatarians,
tried to have these parks closed on Sundays, but their growing popularity
soon put paid to that idea. While some saw parks as a valuable resource,
others saw them as a threat to tradition Sunday School attendance
- many were closed therefore during hours of Sunday worship.
In 1844 the Borough Police Act, drafted in fear of what so many unregulated
people in once place could do, recommended all parks be built 5 miles
outside the city boundaries to keep "trouble out of town".
There was clearly some worry about the possibility of unauthorised
public meetings. Use of carriages, and later of any motorised vehicles
was prohibited in parks (and still is).
Eventually, live brass band performances became popular entertainments
within the parks.
By the 1890s, Alexandra Park was the showpiece of the City; it was
pioneering in the range of facilities it offered, and was thought
to be the best designed and laid out. Hennell had also designed the
Superintendent's Lodge off Claremont Road, which was demolished in
the 1970s. The bowling greens date back to before the second world
war and are still there, but disused. The 1905 built hothouses near
Princess Road were financed and built specifically to house the botanical
collection of Charles Darrah of Heaton Mersey, which it acquired as
a gift in 1904.
is a park of 27 acres which was acquired by public gift in 1846. Designed
and laid out by Joshua Major in 1845. The original Hendham Hall, home
to the Hoghton family, was built in 1800, demolished around 1880 and
the museum and art gallery erected on the same site in 1884 was designed
by J Allison (now part of Manchester City Art Galleries).
When Major laid out plans for the new Queens Park, he incorporated
as much of the original line and timbering of the original Hendham
Hall, largely because of severe financial restrictions on the project,
and made as much as he could of pathways and walkways, as well as
developing an existing water feature with rustic bridge and ponds.
Large wide sweeping pathways (which could carry horse and carriage)
circled round extensive play areas and games pitches. This rather
frugal design was much criticised by contemporary architects, who
thought it to geometric. In the 1850s and 1860s many alterations were
made to the original concept. First, a labyrinth designed by Dwerryhouse,
head gardener at Tatton Park was introduced in 1852 (it closed in
Next, propagating sheds and greenhouses, designed by John Shaw were
added in 1853 (demolished in 1930). Shaw went on to add more ponds,
streams, as well as a large fountain in 1865. Large flower gardens
were planted, including a rosarium on the north side. In 1909 a bowling
green was added as well as tennis courts.
Road, Burnage. Tel: 0161 223 8278. Park with adjacent Cringle Fields
Beehive Club Day Nursery and frequent venue for Gaelic Football Games,
periodic funfairs and firework displays. The Fields are an open space
which lies on the municipal boundary between the City of Manchester
and the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport. The field is used for football
practice, jogging and by local residents for walking their dogs. Cringle
Fields is also host to the annual Manchester Irish Festival, a family
orientated weekend of Irish music, dance and fun fair rides in Levenshulme
Village has been put on jointly by Manchester City Council Parks Department.
(Levenshulme is believed to be home to the biggest Irish community
Fields Park, Rusholme
Park measures some 90 acres. Fear of encroaching domestic housing
prompted the final purchase of Platt Fields from Mr Carill Worsley
in 1908. He had been a member of the Manchester Botanical & Horticultural
Society. The original Park with its Hall had been commissioned by
John Lees of Platt in 1762 when Timothy Lightoler had remodelled the
house, and a few years later , in 1768, William Emes (1729-1803) had
been employed to design and landscape the surrounding parkland.
Later, further developments had been made to the park by William Pontey,
who had laid out several formal lawns and paths as well as specimen
trees and shrubs.
A large boating lake was constructed here in 1908-09 at the initiation
of the Corporation, which was immediately popular, and was still operative
until recent times. Tennis courts and playing fields were also created
in the 20th century, and the park has become a popular venue for shows,
notably the Agricultural and flower shows. See also Platt
Hall Gallery of Costume.
is Manchester's largest park, measuring some 650 acres. It was laid
out by William Emes (who had also laid out Platt Fields - above),
and John Webb between 1770-73. The Hall had been designed by James
Wyatt around 1772, with later work by Lewis Wyatt around 1823. It
was purchased by the Corporation from Lord Wilton in 1902. One of
several local lands belonging to the Egertons, it was situated about
4 miles north of Manchester on a hill top plateau surrounded by pleasant
One of the best known events to be held here were the popular Heaton
Park Races (which transferred to Aintree in around 1827). The general
public had been able to attend the races on payment of a small fee
at the gate. After its purchase, some levelling was carried out and
a golf course constructed in 1908-09. Regular band performances took
place in the park on summer weekends, and they became so popular that
fixed seating proved wholly inadequate and a system of deck chair
hire was introduced at a charge of one penny a day.
After 1909 several bowling greens were created, and a miniature railway,
(later a tramway), was constructed to take visitors up from Middleton
Road to the main house. Roads were widened and a Refreshment Room
introduced in the west wing of the house.
In 1913 the boating lake was constructed and is still operative today.
The original entrance facade from the Old Manchester Town Hall was
transported and re-erected beside the lake. See Main Entry: Heaton
Park, South Manchester
to the City of Manchester in 1926 by Lord
Ernest Simon and his wife Lady Shena Simon. This 250 acre
parkland was intended for the recreational use of people living on
the newly built Wythenshawe Housing Estate nearby. The park had been
laid out between 1800-1820, with a conservatory being built by John
Shaw in around 1860.
The original Tudor house, Wythenshawe Hall, had been remodelled by
Lewis Wyatt in 1795-1800, and later by Edward Blore around 1840. The
present day formal gardens date from the 1850s, and look much as they
might have done in 1641 when the oldest known estate plans were drawn
up. Only the more recent addition of Oliver Cromwell's statue is new,
having been moved here from outside of Manchester
Cathedral in 1967.
Shaw had planted the park with shrubberies, hollies, azaleas and rhododendrons,
as well as many exotic specimen trees such as turkey oak and Bhutan
pine. In the 1930s, bowling greens, tennis courts and playing fields
had been created in the western parkland, which had hitherto been
arable land. It remains a major leisure facility for the whole of
south Manchester. See also Main Entry:
Moss & Parsonage Gardens, Didsbury
Moss Gardens were given to the corporation by Alderman Fletcher Moss
in 1914. They cover some 10 acres, and the gift also included the
house, (the Old Parsonage), but the rock garden and the Croft nearby.
The gardens are rich in exotic varieties of tree and shrubs, all of
which Fletcher Moss recorded with dates and measurements. Plants include,
fuschias, japonica, polyanthus, carnations and wallflowers, mostly
planted in 1889. There are also many climbing plants including honeysuckle,
Virginia creeper, cotoneaster, wisteria and passion flower. Trees
include the several palms which border the house. The original garden
included lime and and weeping ash which had been planted in the 1830s.
Fletcher Moss favoured so-called 'old fashioned' cottage garden flowers
like marigold, lilies, gold borage and rue. Two hot houses were erected
in the 1940s for the cultivation of orchids. The Croft was developed
and enlarged throughout the 1950s and 1960s, with poplars removed
to create a rock garden. Subsequently, alpine and wild flower gardens
have been created. See also: Fletcher
Moss Art Gallery.
Louise Gardens, West Didsbury
as a gift to the city by Mrs Silkenstadt in 1904. This relatively
small garden is of 4¾ acres and was part of the gardens of
her home. It was donated in memory of her daughter Marie Louise who
died young and is a simple shape with crossing pathways, edged with
neatly clipped topiary bushes and shaded by horse chestnuts - a secluded
and peaceful place set aside from the busy world outside. There are
many interesting botanical specimens including a maidenhair tree.
The gardens are maintained by the Corporation.
properly named the 'Manchester Zoological Gardens, Broughton', this
park no longer exists, but is now a residential housing estate on
the borders of Manchester City boundary. The original park was some
15 acres in size and was designed and laid out by Richard Forrest
around 1837. The Grand Menagerie and other now extinct buildings were
by William Hayley and Thomas Brown.
The Zoological Gardens were very short lived, having opened to the
public in 1838, it closed in 1842. The gardens were designed with
high serpentine shrubs so that the visitor was continually met with
new vistas and surprises. The zoo contained an astonishing array of
animals, including aviaries for eagles and rockeries for armadillos
and porcupines. Elsewhere were polar bear enclosures, buffalo, emu,
camels, ostriches and kangaroos. There was a large lake with islands
and rustic bridges.
However, the city clearly could not support 2 large zoos, and when
Broughton Park closed down, many of the animals went to the other
(better known) zoo at Belle Vue - that too, now sadly gone.
Hole Clough, Blackley
on Rochdale Road in Blackley, Boggart Hole Clough was purchased by
the City Council in 1890 after long campaigning and many petitions.
The site has an extensive 190 acres of green land. The Clough had
long been recognised as a local beauty spot, and was eventually purchased
to prevent the building of domestic housing on its lands.
Boggart Hole Clough is an ancient historical site and combines a number
of picturesque cloughs varying from steep ravines to gentle sloping
gullies. The 'Boggart Hole' connection refers to the old belief
that a ghost (or 'boggart' haunted the area.
The park is an attractive haven for relaxation but also boasts a number
of activities, from boating to athletics, and is well worth a visit.
The park stages a number of cross-country events, mountain bike rides,
summer 'fun days' and an annual bonfire and firework display.
The park was recently restored by members of Festival Manchester,
including painting knee rails, litter picking in the dells and around
the lake. Many flowering bulbs have also been planted around the public
car park on Charlestown Road. In 2003, Boggart Hole Clough attained
the Green Flag Award for the third time. It has access for disabled
people and its facilities include a bowling green, tennis courts,
basketball courts, play area, multi-court, fishing, an orienteering
course, a boating lake, a kickabout area and a recently refurbished
Vue Zoological Gardens, Gorton
Vue has always been a commercial enterprise. Built in 1836, this 36
acre park was expanded to 80 acres during its heyday in 1904. Belle
Vue House had been built in 1828 and gardens created in 1833. These
in turn were extended and enlarged from 1836 onwards. Its animals
were finally sold off in the 1970s, and Belle Vue ceased as a zoo,
continuing, as it has with its more profitable speedway, leisure complex
and exhibition hall facilities.
By the end of the 19th century, Belle Vue was a major attraction.
The original house and land had been owned by John Jennison, who seems
to have made a fortune running local tea houses. He constantly extended
the facilities, adding in successive years, an Italian Garden, lakes,
refreshment houses, mazes and hot houses, and finally the zoological
In 1847 he had built a racecourse, followed by elephant houses, lions
and monkey houses and a polar bear pit. The design of buildings was
dominated by Thomas Danson, whose architecture was 'exotic' to say
the least, having an Asiatic Kiosk, an Indian Mosque, and rustic grottoes.
The Danson family continued to create annual architectural 'panoramas'
until 1939, which included fireworks displays, and subjects for set
pieces including the Siege of Khartoum, the Relief of Ladysmith and
a Venice Carnival. These were immense crowd pullers, and Belle Vue
at its height became a favourite and popular day out for Manchester
From the 1920s a speedway track was constructed by Danson, as well
as a cricket and archery ground. In 19030 a circus was introduced.
By the 1930s brass band competitions were held there. By the mid-1960s
its fortunes had begun to decline and in 1964 the boating lake was
drained and just a small residual decorative pool was left.
an area of 29 acres located on Mauldeth Road, Ladybarn Park is one
of Manchester's more modern parks, noted for its excellent flat green
playing fields. Well laid out lawns and shrubberies occupy one side
of the park while the other has bowling greens and play facilities.
There is also a garden with well-maintained lawns and flower beds.
One of the park's most distinctive features is its tall row of Lombardi
Poplars which are something of a local landmark
Park facilities include a childrens play area for juniors and
under-fives, a multi-sports court, a tennis court, two bowling greens
with veterans pavilion, and a youth centre.
to the University of Salford and located on The Crescent, Peel Park,
opened on the 22nd August 1846, is possibly the world's first Public
Park. Of the early parks in Manchester, only Peel Park was built on
a virgin site, and had avoided residential development on account
of the periodic flooding of the adjacent River Irwell. Designers were
chosen by open competition, and Peel was laid out by Joshua Major,
a Leeds man who also won the competition to design Philips and Queens
Parks. Adjacent to the once notorious slums of the Victorian era the
park has evolved and now caters for both local visitors and students
studying at the University of Salford. Its contemporary facilities
include football pitches, changing rooms, flower beds, a well-equipped
play area for 4-14 year olds, the Marie Curie Field of Hope, part
of the Irwell Valley sculpture trail, the flood obelisk, as well as
nearby Salford Museum & Art Gallery.
Park was purchased by the Corporation in 1887, acquired for use as
a public park for the sum of £9,930 from Sir William Anson,
a local landowner, whose name is commemorated in the nearby Anson
Housing Estate and the arterial Anson Road that runs through the district.
Recreational facilities were then in great demand, and the park was
designed with numerous tennis courts and football pitches. The park's
purchase was conditional upon Rusholme being incorporated into the
City of Manchester in 1885.
with its main entrance on the corner of Birchfield Road and Dickenson
Road, Birchfields Park has been recently transformed with an investment
of £160,000 to create a new children's play area, new sports
area, a skateboarding facility, new bins and benches as well as shrub
clearance and tidying up the entrances and parkway.
On the one side of the park are playing fields, play facilities and
nature trail, on the other side there is the stone garden and a natural
habitat, which was originally one of Manchester's first circular bowling
greens. The rose garden is being redeveloped by the Birchfields Green
Action group into a forest garden.
An important feature of the park is the lime tree avenue by the side
of Gore Brook, which makes a delightful walk when in flower, distinguished
by the heady scent of the green-yellow lime tree blossom. A prominent
fixture in the park, and somewhat of a local mystery, is the huge
boulder (weighing in at 13 tons), which was uncovered during excavations
by a building contractor on the local estate and was presented to
the park as an object of curiosity.
Facilities include Gore Brook, the Stone Garden Sculpture, a nature
trail, a play areas for Junior and under-fives, Multisports court,
skateboard area, basketball posts, a teen shelter and a community
events site. The park is secured by regular mobile security patrols.
on Grecian Street in the M7 district of Salford, this is a small park
with the following facilities: a bowling green with veterans' pavilion,
a football pitch, an artificial sports pitch (managed by Education
and Leisure), car parking, and a well-equipped play area for 4-14
park was purchased in 1912 and was designed with several tennis courts
and football pitches. Debdale Park is located on Hyde Road in Gorton,
about three miles from Manchester city centre and offers a haven in
a busy urban area. The Park is set in 130 acres and offers extensive
sport and leisure activities.
also hosts an annual Bonfire and Fireworks Display, a family carol
service, family Easter egg hunt and a Halloween Fun Event, as well
as regular 3.5km fun runs and sports competitions. It also stages
'Off The Street Soccer' sessions during the summer season. The dedicated
Wardens Service offers a wide range of educational and environmental
activities for children.
Park facilities include tennis courts, bowling greens , basketball
court, football pitches and 5-a-side grass pitch, a skateboarding
ramp, a 9 hole pitch and putt golf area, and a childrens play
area. An orienteering course is available and there is a conservation
Debdale Park was a Green Flag Award winner in 2003.
There is adequate access for disabled people and car parking available
on site. Debdale Park is easily accessible by bus from Manchester
on Mount Street, Salford M3, this is one of Salfords smaller
parks containing a playing field and several rose and shrub beds.
It is reasonably well equipped with seating areas, and is popular
with local residents.
on New Hall Road, Salford M7, Clowes Park is a small but very attractive
public park, dominated by a central lake with a circular footpath,
viewing points and an attractive boat house. It is located in a fairly
affluent area of the city, surrounded by residential housing, which
also forms the park boundary. To the north of the lake is a large
play area, a small area of woodland and a walled garden. Areas of
seasonal bedding displays, rose beds, shrubs, herbaceous borders and
rare trees are of particular interest.
Park activities available include walking, sitting, fishing, football
and childrens play. Its facilities also include toilets, flower
beds, a lake, fishing and a well-equipped play area for 4-14 year
olds. The park is closed at night.
on Leicester Road, Salford M7, Mandley Park is one of Salfords
smaller parks. However, it does boast extensive wide-open grassy areas
for informal recreation, popular by local people for informal games
of football and walking the dog. There is also a rugby pitch and an
equipped play area for 4-14 year olds. This park is also closed at
by the Corporation in 1868. Located in Ardwick Green South on Hyde
Road, a small 4 acre site with a playground and gardens, with access
for disabled people.
Ardwick Green was the first public open space in Manchester and houses
the First World War Memorial commemorating those who died at Gallipoli.
Easily accessible by bus from the city centre. For more information,
telephone: 0161-224 2902 or Fax: 0161-224 2861.
Park, New Moston
on St Marys Road in New Moston, Broadhurst Park is a 57 acre
site which offers a range of leisure activities for all age groups.
The park stages summer funfairs, an annual bonfire & firework
display and summer sports activities for children. Broadhurst Park
is part of the Irk Valley.
Recent investment has led to roller shutters being installed on the
doors and windows of the Veterans Pavilion and the footpath surrounding
the greens being newly tarmacked. The park is accessible by bus from
Manchester city centre.
Its facilities include a football pitch, bowling green with bowls
pavilion, tennis courts, basketball courts, a Multisports court, a
kickabout area and the Beehive Club. The park is accessible for disabled
at Haworth Road and Knutsford Road in Gorton M18 7EN, Sunnybrow Park
celebrated it's centenary in April 2005 and local residents, volunteers,
park wardens and environmental services all turned out to clean up
the park and surrounding area before the celebrations. Sunnybrow Community
Garden, once an underused piece of open space located behind a residential
area in Gorton, had become overgrown and vandalised. After a series
of planning days and public consultations, local residents decided
to turn this area into a community garden, which would provide a safe
and attractive area for all members of the local community. A major
part of the scheme was to close off rear alleyways by the erection
of gates to alleviate the problem of burglaries and vandalism. Other
physical improvements included a
safe garden area, a pergola for shade, a ball wall and a play area
for local children. The community are now involved in training sessions
for running committees, fund-raising and maintenance issues and the
creation of a resident's association.
on Oxford Road, next to the Whitworth Art Gallery and opposite the
Manchester Royal Infirmary Hospital, this is a relatively small park
of some 18 acres. It was presented to the City Council by the Whitworth
Trustees in 1905. This is the closest of the larger parks to the City
Centre. A popular park, particularly at lunchtimes, when local workers
from the hospital and nearby Rusholme seek the solace of a green field
in the middle of an otherwise bustling metropolis. It has facilities
for five-a-side floodlit football and has a children's playground.
There is access for disabled people and it is well served by regular
buses down Oxford Road from the city centre.
on Ashton New Road, Clayton Park is one of the city's smallest parks,
and is managed by officers from Debdale Park. On the site of Clayton
Hall, which dates back to the 12th century, the present park is situated
on what remains of the vast estate of the De Clayton family. It is
reputed that during the Civil Wars the Royalist army was stationed
at Clayton Hall before its attack on Manchester, and Oliver Cromwell
himself is said to have stayed there. The Hall is said to be haunted
by three ghosts.
The Park offers extensive leisure facilities, and has a thriving and
popular bowling green with a Veteran's Pavilion. It also has a children's
play area and good access for disabled people.
on Droylsden Road, Newton Heath and managed from the Boggart Hole
Clough parks team. This 44 acre site has facilities which include
bowls, a veterans' pavilion, play area, several football pitches,
a Beehive Club and a woodland area. There is access for disabled people.
Brookdale park was bought by Manchester City Council in 1904 for use
as a public park. The park is well known locally for variety of its
bird population, and several less common species are to be found there.
The original Victorian bandstand still exists today, though sadly,
bands are few and far between.
In 2003, new investment saw the demolition of the old changing rooms
and new planted garden beds where they once stood. The local community
are currently bidding for a new Multisports area for teenagers.
in 1900, Crowcroft Park was one of the early Victorian parks of Manchester
with well laid out flower beds, a bandstand, floral borders and several
cricket and football pitches. It is located on the main A6 Stockport
Road in the Longsight/Levenshulme area, about three miles south of
Manchester city centre. The Park was originally built for the recreation
of young people, and as a reaction against the encroaching spread
of residential housing as the city grew in size.. More recently with
the addition of new facilities the Park offers something for all the
family. The Park has a strong and active Friends of Crowcroft Park
Group who support community events and actively campaign for improvements
in the Park. Park facilities include two Multisports areas (one floodlit),
a basketball training court, roller skating and skateboard ramps,
a children's play area, crown green bowling, veteran's pavilion with
community meeting room, two 'teen shelters', public toilets with disabled
access, a visitors centre and a mobile cricket pitch (bookable in
In 2000, young people from the neighbourhood who helped raise money
for the games area in Crowcroft Park were awarded the Philip Lawrence
Prize for outstanding achievement by young people.
Located on Hyde Road in Gorton, this park along with nearby Debdale
Park, serves a large proportion of East Manchester residents. Gorton
Park Community Play Centre is a major Day Nursery in the district.
A Friends of Gorton Park Group exists, but little is known by this
would like to obtain more information about this park - if you have
any, please email.
Park, Whalley Range
so much a park nowadays - more a play area. Located in Whalley Range
adjacent to Park Drive, this small grassed play area, with a simple
football pitch, and referred to locally as "The Rec", is
an important play area for local children. Flanked by an avenue of
tall trees, bordered by a row of small shops. In October 1882 Manchester
Golf Club's eight founder members played their first round of golf
over a small nine-hole course of some 1856 yards at Manley Park. A
sum of £25,000 has recently been acquired through the work of
the Friends of Manley Park for its refurbishment, and the creation
of new kickabout area for children.
Manley Park was built as a magnificent estate in the 1860s for Samuel
Mendel, one of Manchester's foremost cotton traders. Originally, when
its superb park and pleasure gardens were open to the public they
consisted of over 80 acres with ornamental lakes and reputedly the
country's finest orchid collection.
After Samuel Mendel lost his fortune, the park was sold off piecemeal
for development and his fine house was abandoned and eventually demolished.
In its heyday it was regarded as one of the most magnificent in the
north of England.
are indebted to Neil Roland for supplying much of the information
about Manley Park.
Park lies within the Cheetham Hill district of Manchester M8, bordering
on the A6010 Elizabeth Steet. Once a fashionable and affluent Victorian
suburb, the area is now surrounded on three sides by local industry.
Despite its somewhat rundown condition, the result of long neglect,
there have been substantial efforts to refurbish and resurrect it
in recent times. At its north end is a playground and basketball courts.
There are two bandstands which once held sway to regular and popular
Sunday afternoon concerts.
Following consultation with the local community, new multi-sport ends
have been installed in the park. Further consultation will take place
with the local community before any future developments are undertaken.
Manchester Leisure want to set up a Friends of Cheetham Park Group.
Recently, the Salvation Army set up the Cheetham Hill Project, and
Task Force volunteers cleaned up the park, weeding (even pulling up
small trees that were not supposed to be there!), repainting the bandstands,
goalposts and railings and litter-picking.
Park is located on Ash Tree Road in Crumpsall in a densely populated
area and is a focal point for the community on land that was once
earmarked as a cemetery, before the idea was abandoned in favour of
parkland. Originally part of the area known as the Forest of Blackley,
which encompassed the River Irk in the days of pre-industrial Manchester,
it is managed by staff from Boggart Hole Clough (see above). This
is one of Manchesters older parks, opened in the1890s and was
one of the first to provide open space for leisure and sport. It has
childrens' play roundabouts, and a basketball court where the children
can play football. The Park hosts two distinctive landmarks - the
famous Obelisk Monument, which was originally situated in Market Street
in Manchester City Centre, and an impressive Park Keepers Lodge,
which was built with the Park in 1890. The Lodge now houses a toddlers
child care facility.
The site measures around 4.45 hectare (11 acres) and is a multi-leisure
activity site. It holds regular community summertime Fundays, cycle
races and sport activities for children. As an example, during Easter
2005, organised activities included circus skills, mask-making, donkey
rides, bird-box making, Easter egg hunting and other outdoor activities.
The Friends of Crumpsall Park, based in the Park Building, help in
the organisation of events. Recent investment has resulted in a newly
planted wildflower area, and in conjunction with the Friends, Manchester
City Council have made significant efforts to return the Park to its
former Victorian glory - this year it achieved a Green Flag Award.
48 Acre Park (19.43 Hectares) located on Fog Lane in Didsbury, Manchester
20, was purchased by the town planning committee in 1926, one of the
first public parks in Manchester. The Park reputedly got its name
from a species of grass, commonly known as Yorkshire Fog, which still
grows throughout the park. The original design for the park planned
for 14 football pitches, hockey pitches, 24 tennis courts, and two
bowling greens. It also once included a sunken bandstand which was
replaced by the Rose Garden. Its numerous flower beds and borders
include 36 different varieties of Rhododendrons around the rose garden
About one-third of an acre of the park is reserved for the growth
of wild flowers, which attract innumerable insect species which include
butterflies and dragonflies. Their presence almost certainly accounts
for the wide variety of birds which nest in the park (these include
mallards, moorhens, Canada geese, kestrels, wood pigeons, coots and
an occasional heron).
The park has an extnsive range of trees and shrubs, including Dawn
Redwood, Silver Birch, Laburnums and Flowing Crabs as well as many
old mature trees like Hornbeam, Alder, Poplar, Norway Maple and Indian
Bean. Currently, Park facilities
include a park office and visitors centre, a pond area, six full size
football pitches and one junior pitch, two bowling greens with a veteran's
pavilion, seven tennis courts, one basketball court, as 'kickabout'
area, changing rooms with showers and toilet facilities, children's
playground for junior and under-fives and an on-site car park. There
is a regular mobile security patrol in operation.
The Friends of Fog Lane Park, a voluntary group of civic spirited
local citizens, formed to restore the park to its full former glory
and secure its future as an attractive and social community facility
by the creation of a high quality, flexible, secure and attractive
venue for a wide range of events. These could include exhibitions,
meetings, workshops, parties, talks, entertainments, concerts etc,
with low running costs, so that the park could become self-financing
End of Topic].