Friday, 25 January 2019

The People's Park.

The People's Park is a 12.5 acre park built by Sir Francis Crossley and opened in 1857. After the park had been opened for a year it was transferred to the Halifax Corporation for the people of Halifax to use as  a park forever. The following 12 conditions are attached to the gift,

1. That the park is open to the public from morning until evening, during the whole year.
2. That the park is opened as soon as the sun rises after 6am, but never before, and remains open until dusk.
3. That it can only be used as a promenade.
4. That no games such as cricket, bowls, or hockey, etc be allowed, nor bathing.
5. Bands be allowed except on Sundays, but dancing prohibited.
6. That refreshments not be sold in the park.
7. That the corporation spend not less than £315 annually maintaining the grounds, buildings, bridges, statues, trees, shrubs, walks and seats. Also providing gardeners and keepers.
8. If the corporation fails to maintain the park, it shall revert to Frank Crossley or his heirs.
9. No buildings shall be erected except summer houses, lodges, and like structures, as may from time to time be necessary.
10. The park shall not be used for any political or other meeting, nor yet for the celebration of the anniversaries of clubs or other societies.
11. No charge shall ever be made for admission to the park, nor any use made of it for private or municipal pecuniary advantage.
12. That the corporation make and enforce such regulations as shall protect the trees, walks, etc from injury.

Crossley had been impressed with the scenery on a visit to New England, which had inspired him to build such a space for the workers of Halifax to enjoy and proposed "to arrange art and nature so that they shall be within the walk of every working man in Halifax, that he shall go to take his stroll there after he has done his hard day's toil, and be able to get home without being tired".

There are more individual building of note within the park, more of which later. These pictures were taken using a Nikon d3300 SLR on the 27th May 2018. There are 72 pictures which can be seen on Flickr (some are featured here) and Clickasnap. Most of the pictures have been lost over time and the ones below are all the remains.

Built by G.H. Stokes the Pavilion was inaugurated on the 14th August 1860 and features a marble statue of Sir Francis Crossley. There are pools either side of the pavilion which have the following inscriptions above them "The rich and the poor meet together. The Lord is the maker of them all. Blessed by the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits. Let no man seek his own but every man another's wealth. The Pavilion sits on the terrace.

The statues and urns that run along the length of terrace were designed by G.H. Stokes and sculptured by Francesco Bienaime. The terrace featured an urn at each end of the terrace and has had statues added at various times of Apollo (Son of Zeus), Dancing Girl, Diana (Roman Goddess), Hercules, Neapolitan Music Girl, Sophocles, Telemachus and Venus. Over the years these statues have suffered from erosion and vandalism and not all still remain.

The Crossley Fountain.
At the centre of the park stands the Crossley and Saville fountain. Built in 1864 by Simpson of Pimlico the Crossley fountain was replaced in 1914 when Sir Savile Crossley offered to provide a new fountain, since 1914 the fountain then became known as the Saville and Crossley Fountain.

The Bandstand.
The bandstand was built in 1882 and made of cast-iron, wood and features a zinc roof.

To the eastern edge of the park is a series of small ponds and pools which are crossed by cast-iron bridges.

The Thorp Fountain.
No longer connected to the water supply the Thorp Fountain was a drinking fountain designed by John Hogg and given to the park by Joseph Thorp. The fountain bears the following "Thank God for water, Water is best" The fountain is Grade II listed.

Thanks for looking and please take a moment to share, all the pictures remain the copyright of Colin Green.