Autumn Scenes in Oakhill Park in Accrington, Lancashire, England - November 2011
About The Friends of Oak Hill Park
The Friends of Oak Hill Park is a 'not for profit' environmental body setup in 2005 with the aim of helping to protect and develop Oak Hill Park. The group works closely with Hyndburn Council and other community groups, and is a constituted organisation making it eligible to apply for funding for projects in the park.
Aims and objectives :
oTo bring together people who wish to improve and maintain the Park.
oTo work collectively to further community events staged within the Park.
oTo carry out practical projects, which result in local environmental improvements and involve all sections of the community.
oTo work collectively to promote and encourage bio-diversity throughout the Park.
oTo raise funds and invite and receive contributions to further the improvement and maintenance of the Park.
oTo raise awareness of the history of the Park.
The Friends of Oak Hill Park meet in Christ Church lounge, usually on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, at 19:30. Dates and times of our meetings can be found on the events page.
The Friends Of Oak Hill Park is open to anyone with an interest in improving and maintaining the park. Anyone interested in joining should get in touch via the contact form, or come to the next meeting. The Friends of Oak Hill Park is open to anyone (individuals under the age of 18 must have written consent from a parent or guardian).
A brief history of Oak Hill Park
In the 18th century, the owner of Oak Hill house was recorded as Daniel Henry Woodward of Gloucester, who later changed his name to Lee-Warner and inherited Walsingham Abbey.
The original mansion at Oak Hill was built in 1793 by Thomas Hargreaves, owner of the Broad Oak Print Works, Thomas built the mansion at Oak Hill and married his first wife Margaret, they had two daughters and a son. His wife subsequently died, and having other business interests outside Accrington, Thomas decided to leave Oak Hill and in 1802 he built and moved into Oakenshaw House, where he married his second wife Nancy, and they had five sons.
In 1812, Thomas returned to Accrington, and took control of Broad Oak; the family once again took up residence at Oak Hill, and extensively changed and enlarged the house, demolishing the remainder of the old house. The mansion and its gardens remained in the Hargreaves family until its acquisition by Accrington Corporation. The last private owners of Oak Hill were Reginald Hargreaves and his wife Alice Liddell.
The idea of purchasing the land and mansion was first brought before the Town Council in 1890. Negotiations with the owner were not successful in agreeing a price for the land, so the decision was put to the ratepayers who, in July 1892, voted in favour of the acquisition. The land was acquired for 12048, with the vendor returning 1000 toward the work required to prepare the park.
The park was opened on Whit Monday the 22nd May 1893 by Reginald Hargreaves. The mayor presented the two cannons which were installed in the higher position of the park now occupied by the War Memorial, and Councillor Joseph Duxbury presented the Bandstand, both of which can be seen in the postcard image below.
In 1900 the mansion was opened as a museum. At its peak, the museum housed tens of thousands of specimens and exhibits in eight rooms.
On the first of July 1922, the memorial to those who fell in the First World War was unveiled by H. H. Bolton.
The Ornamental Rock Gardens were opened 25th May 1932 by Henry Parkinson ('Accrington Friend and Well Wisher'), in memory of his grandfather, also Henry Parkinson who had died 50 years previously.
In 1933, the museum received a gift of probably Accrington's most noted collection of fine-art, the Tiffany Glass collection of over 140 Art Nouveau glass pieces, created by Louis Comfort Tiffany of New York. It was donated by Joseph Briggs, a former Accringtonian who worked for the Tiffany glass company for many years. The collection remains the largest of its kind outside of the USA, and is now held at Haworth Art Gallery.
Oak Hill Park is located at the southerly end of Accrington, bordering on the Christ Church Conservation Area.
The park has four entrances, two on Manchester Road, and two on Hollins Lane.
Limited disabled parking is available via the top Manchester Road entrance. Normal parking is on the roadside on the periphery of the park.