Hurst Grange Park
Hurst Grange Park is one of South Ribble's three major parks. The largest park in Penwortham, it is located between Hill Road and Cop Lane. The former estate of Hurst Grange Mansion is now an attractive landscape of specimen trees, ponds and wildflower meadows.
The site has retained a prestigious Green Flag Award every year since 2005.
- Car and cycle parking
- Park facilities
- Park improvement works
- History of Hurst Grange Park
- Related Links
- Free car parking
- Cycle parking
- Children's Playground (being refurbished in spring 2021)
- Woodlands, wildflower meadows and ponds
- New café (coming soon)
- New public toilets (coming soon)
- New visitor centre (coming soon)
A range of improvement works have begun within Hurst Grange Park that will further raise the quality of the site.
Works began in November 2020 to restore the park's historic Coach House. Originally built in 1848 to accommodate the estate's coach and horses in the north of the park, we're working in partnership with the Friends of Hurst Grange Park to refurbish the Coach House to provide a range of visitor facilities and events space.
Funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, South Ribble Borough Council and the Lancashire Environmental Fund along with funds raised by the Friends group from events and public donations have allowed the project to proceed with building works beginning in November 2020 and due for completion in summer 2021.
The refurbished building is proposed to provide a visitor centre, public toilets a small café and events space for the Friends Group and local community, with completion proposed for summer 2021.
Works have also begun to refurbish the park's playground to provide a new range of equipment for toddlers and juniors with new seating and links paths to improve the site's accessibility. The playground is expected to reopen at the end of spring 2021.
Improvements are also planned to the park's ponds with bank repairs, new fencing and new planting proposed and parts of the park's drainage system are to receive repairs and improvements.
Finally, works have begun in the park's southern half, designated as a Biological Heritage Site, to remove non-native evergreens and other species and replant them with both deciduous and evergreen native species to help improve the site's biodiversity.
Hurst Grange was created as the estate of a Lancashire judge, William Adam Hulton, who built a large house including coach house and stables buildings and laid out the landscaped parkland in 1848. At this time Penwortham was attracting many wealthy residents preferring to live in rural settings away from the smoke, noise and bustle of the rapidly industrialising town of Preston and led to construction of many genteel high-quality residences which continue to contribute to the area's character today.
Following William Adam Hulton's death in 1887 with no male heirs to inherit the house, Hurst Grange was bought by John Forshaw, a solicitor from Preston. The exact date of purchase is unknown, but he and his family were resident by the census of 1891. John Forshaw added the gate lodge on Hill Road in around 1890-95 and occupied Hurst Grange until his death in 1921. It is not known how long his wife, Hester, continued to live there following the death of her husband, but her death was recorded in 1929 at Belsize Gardens, Middlesex, possible the home of one of her children.
It appears that the Grange was then unoccupied for a number of years with the estate's Coachman, William Ravenscroft, resident in the gate lodge and acting as caretaker. In 1936 the Preston Rural District Council began the process of purchasing an area of land as an area of public green space that now forms part of the park. The following year an assessment of the Grange is recorded as finding it in poor repair and by May 1938 the building had been demolished.
Further details of the history of the park can be found in 'A History of Hurst Grange Park' by E. Basquill available from the Friends of Hurst Grange Park.
The Friends have also created a trail that includes many of the notable trees in the northern half of the park. The leaflet can be found here: https://bit.ly/3i5JgF4