Queen’s Park

January 11, 2013

Queen's ParkQueen’s Park is the jewel in Heywood’s crown.

It has been cleaned up and refurbished in recent years, with a great cafe, play area and plenty of well-maintained open space.

The history of the park is as follows.

In 1873 Martin J Newhouse, a wealthy Heywood merchant, died without making a will. A sum of £10,000 was then passed to Queen Victoria who gave the money to the people of Heywood. After much deliberation, the Heywood board decided on a park for the town and Queen’s Park was created.

The original park was restricted to 20 acres, known locally as the ‘top part’, and down the banking as far as the Serpentine Lake. The Boating Lake and the bottom field areas came much later.

The Queen’s gardeners designed the layout of the gardens, including the circular bandstand, café and fountain and local people were employed to build them.

At the grand opening in 1879 local traders, mills, schools, churches and Sunday schools took part in the parade which, due to its size, took 1½ hours to reach the park!

In 1911 the bowling club opened. The green is the largest in the North West of England and the second largest in Great Britain.

After World War I the town obtained government grants to build a boating lake using unemployed labour. On 18 May 1921, at least 90 men started breaking the soil for the lake and by 25 March the following year 150 were working on the lake, which gives an indication of how high unemployment was in Heywood at this time.

In August 1921 the council agreed to appoint a boatsman and the lake was officially opened on 14 April 1922. The grounds were extended over a further 20 acres in 1923.

In June 1989 the Queen’s Park Restoration Group was established. After funding from the council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the park is now regarded as one of the best – having had over £1 million invested in its restoration. Many of the historic features including the unique 1950s open air theatre, the original lodge building (housing a new visitors’ centre) and the Victorian fountain have all been renovated.

The grant also funded a face lift for the café and major improvements to landscaping, footpaths and play areas. In 2007 it was given Green Flag status and an excellence award from the National Civic Trust.

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2 Responses to Queen’s Park

  1. January 14, 2013 at 10:58 am

    good website this mate, heywoods not a bad town really, queens park was one of my fav places as a kid, and im making sure it is now my daughters fav place

    • admin
      January 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      Cheers Chris.

      Just putting all the stuff I have, or am thinking about, down and in one place.

      If I go somewhere I’m just going to review them. Only a bit of fun.

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