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Firs Park

Introduction

Firs Park is a public park. It was originally a brick field. The site is roughly rectangular, with entrances from Firs Lane and Hulme Road. There is a large lake with two islands to the north of the site and a wooded area with a system of paths to the south.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

This is a municipal site for general public use.

Owners

Wigan Council

Town Hall, Library Street, Wigan,, WN1 1YN
History

The following extracts are taken from the opening ceremony commemorative brochure.

The conception of the Park was due to Sir John H Holden, Bart. and his co-directors of Messrs. Tunnicliffe and Hampson (1920) Limited. The idea was to turn waste land, originally the site of a brickfield adjoining The Firs Mills, into a pleasure ground for the use of the inhabitants of Leigh. Plans were prepared and the scheme carried out by J B Walker, Lakeland Nurseries, of Windermere.

Lakeland nurseries were selected for the commission as the managers, Messrs J. B. Walker and H. Pierce, were well known as garden designers and responsible for many public and private gardens throughout the country.

The first consultations took place in 1919 when it was conceived that about seven acres of the waste land were to be made into a Park. However the directors, led by Sir John Holden decided to complete the site by adding the remaining eight acres of land, on which a boating lake was sited. The addition of the boating lake to the original scheme was noted not only as an asset to the scheme but it would also eliminate a source of danger to children. Prior to this the waste land had deep pools (some of which were over ten metres deep). These pools were re-landscaped excavating the higher ground and filling the pools to give a uniform depth of two feet nine inches (0.84m).

The principal entrance is in Firs Lane and consists of a pair of fine wrought-iron gates (now lost) hung on rustic brick piers surmounted with stone caps and stone cannon balls (now lost). It is noted that J B Walker provided an infants' playground separated from the other features with similar but smaller play equipment and a sand-pit. A terrace garden was laid to rose beds and herbaceous borders with a central feature of a band stand (now lost). The unique design of the band stand was built on four columns with an inner octagonal and enclosed by a wrought-iron railing. The band stand being erected on the most elevated area of the site, formerly the site of the old engine-house of the brickworks. Further footpaths bordered the various sports areas and crossed the park through plantations of trees and shrubs.

Material contributed by Adrian Stockdale

Period

Early 20th Century (1901-1932)

Associated People
Features & Designations

Features

  • Boating Lake
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Key Information

Type

Public Park

Purpose

Urban Park

Principal Building

Parks, Gardens And Urban Spaces

Period

Early 20th Century (1901-1932)

Survival

Extant

Hectares

5

Open to the public

Yes

References

References

Contributors

  • Lancashire Gardens Trust

  • Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit

  • Adrian Stockdale