Postcard of the Boathouse, Stanley Park, early 1900s
Postcard of the Terrace, Stanley Park, early 1900s
The 100 acre (40ha) Stanley Park was developed at a cost of over £120,000
by the celebrated landscape architect Edward Kemp, 1868-70. Kemp assisted
Sir Joseph Paxton at both Chatsworth and Birkenhead Park, and also designed
Liverpool’s Anfield Cemetery.
Kemp’s design for the Stanley Park comprised three elements: an informal
`soft’ side, at the foot of a slope including four interlinked lakes
in a woodland setting; a formal `hard’ side, at the summit of the slope
with dramatic terrace architecture and planting displays; and a grass `buffer
strip’ designed to segregate the hard and soft elements to maximise
the landscape impact.
This formal layout was to remain largely unaltered until the turn of the 19th
century, when the introduction of bowling greens adjacent to the terrace c1900
diminished the impact of the grand terrace architecture and its planting displays.
A further addition in this period was the Gladstone Conservatory and bandstand.
The modification of the park’s original four lake system represented
a more dramatic change between 1893-1900, with initially a channel being introduced
to replace the third and link the small fourth lake. By 1928 this feature
had been removed and replaced with the Audley (Children’s) Garden.
The Park today
Stanley Park is included on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens
of Historic Interest (Grade II listed) and in 2007 work commenced on a multi
million £ restoration and improvement project, including the full refurbishment
of the Gladstone Conservatory and the reinstatement of the original flowing
landscape design including the reintroduction of the third and fourth lakes.
Work is programmed for completion in Spring 2009.