Stanley Park is a municipal park in the town of Blackpool on the Fylde
coast in the county of Lancashire, England.
Italian gardens, Stanley Park
is the largest park in the town, bounded by a roughly circular
perimeter of 2.2 miles (3.54 km) and covering an area of 256
is located near the geographical centre of the town to the south of
the district of Layton
As early as 1920, former Blackpool Mayor and Member of Parliament
(MP) Sir Albert Lindsay Parkinson
acquired a large area of land, intending to develop it into a park
with the help of the town council. The council subsequently took
over the land and the project, further extending the area by
purchasing and demolishing some of the surrounding buildings. The
task of designing the park was given to the distinguished landscape
architects TH Mawson and Sons
And much of the work was handled by the founder's son Edward Mawson
as his father's health began to falter. The park's golf course
was designed by the famous partnership of Harry Shapland Colt and Dr Alister MacKenzie, who also created the
nearby Blackpool North Shore and Royal Lytham and
St. Annes courses.
The park was finally declared open
on 2 October 1926 by the 17th Earl of
, Sir George
Edward Villiers Stanley
. It is named in honour of his father,
the former Governor General
, Frederick Stanley, 16th
Earl of Derby KG
1885 to 1886, had been the first MP for the newly created Blackpool
Parliamentary Constituency having been, for 20 years before that,
one of the MPs for the larger constituency of which Blackpool had
then been part.
Since 1995, Stanley Park has had Grade II status (as an
historically important garden) on the National
Register of Historic Parks and Gardens
and is currently
undergoing extensive restoration with the help of National Lottery
its age, the park was still the most recent park development in
Blackpool until 2006 when George Bancroft
Park was opened.
Stanley Park boating lake
The park is designed with all main paths leading out radially from
the circular Italian garden at the centre. At the very centre is a
fountain surrounded by a number of flowerbeds and small statues.
The steps leading down to this garden from the north are flanked by
two ornamental lions believed to have belonged initially to
Pope Leo X
and, therefore, were created
around the year 1500.
In the park's eastern quadrant is a large lake which is home to
many water birds and is used for boating and fishing. The lake
contains islands reserved exclusively for wildlife. Around the lake
are situated a "trim trail" (open-air exercise facility), a
bandstand with a large amphitheatre
small crazy golf
course and one of
the park's two elaborate rose gardens.
The northern quadrant of the park is dominated by the 18-hole
which, although it is home
to Blackpool Park Golf Club, remains a municipal facility. This
area also contains the larger of the two rose gardens, six bowling
greens and the park's central cafe. The cafe, Parks
housed in an art deco building which has recently been reactivated
after years of disuse. The cafe is close to a car park at the end
of a road, Mawson Drive
, leading from the main gate.
Adjoining the car park is the visitors' centre, opened on 24 August
2005 by the 19th Earl of Derby.
The western quadrant is the site of a 5000-seater cricket
ground, home to Blackpool Cricket Club
used for county cricket
by Lancashire CCC
. Stanley Park
Sports Arena (which hosts a number of athletics competitions) and
the Blackpool sports centre
containing three halls, gym
and climbing wall
, are located to the south of the
cricket ground and this area also contains a putting green,
tables and a
Blackpool F.C., the town's professional
football club, had its home at
the athletic grounds on the same site between 1897 and 1899, prior
to moving to its current Bloomfield Road address.
The southern quadrant is dominated by playing fields but is also
the location of a children's play area and the Blackpool Model Village
. The Model
Village is an open air ornamental village in miniature and, while
not directly accessible from within the park, is enclosed inside
its perimeter to the southeast. A clock tower, a memorial to
Blackpool's first Mayor, Dr William Cocker, is to the south of the
central fountain. Tennis
pitches and a skateboard
park are also to be found in the
southern part of the park.
Stanley Park is surrounded on all sides by roads named North
, South Park Drive
, East Park
and West Park Drive
. The residential area
immediately surrounding the park is one of the more affluent parts
of Blackpool and most of the houses are relatively large.
the park is normally considered to be bounded by the Park
Drives, the golf course actually continues on the far side of
East Park Drive and the Salisbury
Woodland Gardens whose stream feeds the park's lake is also in this
location. Blackpool Zoo and Blackpool Victoria hospital are to the east of the park; the zoo in
particular is easily accessible from the park's main paths.
was constructed on the site of the 1929-1947 Stanley Park
Blackpool Council and the Friends of Stanley Park organise a large
programme of historical and nature walks and talks as well as
sporting activities, musical events and children's entertainment.
An events brochure can be picked up from the Stanley Park Visitor
Center, libraries and Tourist Information Centers.
While the lake is not suitable for sports, most of Stanley Park's
other sporting facilities are more than adequate for a variety of
local sporting events. The cricket ground in West Park Drive hosts
intra-county games and some first class matches and is also used
for a well-attended annual Fireworks display on Bonfire Night.
Local theatre groups use the park's pleasant scenery for outdoor
performances. The playing fields are floodlit by night and are used
by many local clubs and schools and for local tournaments. The
bandstand hosts a number of public performances, mainly by local
bands, during the summer months. The athletics track and field is
regularly used by local senior schools for yearly school
Other Blackpool Natural Spaces
- Calley, Roy (1992). Blackpool: A Complete Record