A public park designed by Robert Murray and opened in 1895 with additional sports areas added in the early C20.
Scott Park is named after John Hargreaves Scott, a prominent Burnley businessman, an Alderman, and Mayor in 1871-3. Scott and his wife had no children. In 1880 he made a will leaving the majority of his estate to his wife, the residue on her death to be used to purchase and lay out a public park for the people of Burnley. Scott died in 1881 and Mrs Scott in 1884. Scott's trustees, R J Hurtley and Alderman G Sutcliffe eventually purchased c 7.3ha of the Halstead (Hood House) estate to the south of the town.
The design for the park was by Robert Murray who had been responsible for the design of Queen's Park (qv), opened in 1893 in the north-east of the town. Murray subsequently became its superintendent (Express and Advertiser 1895). As at Queen's Park, the Borough Surveyor, F S Button was responsible for the construction of the boundary walls, lodge, bridges, shelters, and paths; at Scott Park he was aided by his assistant G H Pickles. As part of the park works a new 12m wide road, Scott Park Road, was constructed at the north end of the park linking Manchester Road to the east with Coal Clough Lane to the west (Burnley Gazette 1895).
The park was officially opened on 8 August 1895 by the Mayor, Alderman Mitchell who also received the deeds for the park from Scott's trustees on behalf of the people of Burnley. A monument to Scott, designed by the then Borough Surveyor, G H Pickles, was unveiled in the park in 1898. A bust of Scott, sculpted by John Cassidy of Manchester, was added to the monument in 1899 (Burnley Gazette 1899).
A bowling green was added in 1897 (Hall and Spencer 1993) and a second green and tennis courts in the early C20 (OS 1931). In the late C20 the former c. 0.6ha site of Hood (formerly Lower Hood) House, lying between the park and Manchester Road, was added to the park. Scott Park remains (2001) in use as a public park and in the ownership of Burnley Borough Council.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Scott Park lies on rising ground c 0.9km to the south-west of Burnley town centre and is c 8ha in area. To the north-east the park is bounded by Scott Park Road with a c 0.6m high stone wall topped by c 0.75m high railings with decorative open-scroll panels and barley-twist verticals, the whole stepped to follow the sloping ground. Wall and railings are described in reports of the park's opening in 1895 (Burnley Gazette). Elsewhere the boundaries are generally marked by c 1.2m high late C19 railings without panels. The east boundary of the park with Manchester Road is marked by a c 2.2m high stone wall and the short south boundary with Pendlehurst Street by C20 timber fencing.
Late C19 terraced housing faces south onto the park across Scott Park Road. To the north-west, east, and south-east late C19 and early C20 terraced and semi-detached houses face onto the park across Western Avenue, Park Avenue, and Landseer Close, all footpaths c 2m wide. To the north-west a similar footpath arrangement serves the properties to the south-west and north-east of Fern Road. To the east, north of Park Avenue, the park is bounded by the gardens of detached and semi-detached villas of c 1900 on Pendlehurst Street. To the south-west the park is bounded by the gardens of c 1900 villas set in large plots lying above the level of the park.
The irregular site rises gently from north to south and from west to east. Within the park the ground is dramatically contoured on either side of a meandering stream running from south to north. The area around the park is predominantly residential with C19 housing dominating to the north and C20 to the south. From the higher levels in the east and south-east of the park there are views out over the town to the north.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The principal entrance lies on the north-east boundary with Scott Park Road, opposite the junction with Albion Street which was extended from the north when Scott Park Road was constructed in conjunction with the park. The entrance is set back from the road between curving stone walls with railings. It is marked by a carriage entrance flanked by two pedestrian entrances set between stone gate piers, all three gateways supporting late C19 ornamental iron gates. To the east of the entrance there formerly stood a late C19 two-storey stone lodge (Plan, Button 1895; OS 1912).
Two further entrances, from the north-west off Fern Road and from the east off Carr Road, are in similar style; at each however a carriage entrance only is set on the line of the boundary between stone piers with late C19 gates. A pedestrian entrance with C20 timber gate gives access from the south off Pendlehurst Street to the C20 extension of the park in the north-east. A service access from Manchester Road to the east has a pair of C20 timber gates.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
A principal feature of Scott Park is the stream which divides the site into two unequal halves to west and east. The stream enters the site from a valley to the south and follows an irregular line to the north-west boundary, with curving paths running beside, crossing over, and overlooking the watercourse. The site is largely encircled by a serpentine path.
Some 10m south-west of the north-east entrance the main path divides, one arm curving west to follow the north-west boundary to the Fern Road entrance and the other curving south-east then south with evergreen hedging to the east side. These paths enclose a grassed area containing tennis courts and an early C20 single-storey pavilion. The pavilion lies 50m south-west of the north-east entrance and is of timber on a stone base with a hipped slate roof. To the south-west of the pavilion the tennis courts are set below an embankment to the east and are embanked above the lower ground to the west and south-west. Both pavilion and tennis courts are first indicated on the OS map of 1931. In the north-east of the park, adjoining Scott Park Road, there is a groundsmen's compound with a late C19 single-storey building in stone below a blue slate roof, facing towards and visible from the road. To the west and south of the compound there are two bowling greens, the latter set on an embankment. The south bowling green is shown on the 1912 OS map and the other on that of 1931. Between the bowling greens is a late C20 brick pavilion; the 1931 OS map indicates an earlier building in the same location.
To both north and south of the southern bowling green, paths lead east into the extension of the park bounded by Manchester Road. This area, laid to grass and trees, is screened to the west by dense shrub planting with an embankment to the north-east corner indicating the outline of the former Hood House (OS 1931).
South of the bowling pavilion the main eastern path curves south in a broad arc for c 240m. Some 90m south of the north-east entrance a further path leads south-west, down into the wooded stream valley and towards the Fern Road entrance. Another path, flanked by formal rose beds in grass, leads east-south-east to the Scott monument. To the west of the main eastern path and 200m south of the north-east entrance stands the bandstand, set on a level plateau c 40m in diameter with shallow steps c 15m wide set into the slope to the south. The plateau overlooks the lower ground of the park to the west and north-west with views over the town to the north. The late C19 octagonal bandstand has bracketed cast-iron columns set on a stone plinth below a slated octagonal roof. Descriptions of the opening of the park refer to a lantern to the roof (Burnley Gazette 1895) which no longer (2001) survives and the present balustrading appears to be C20. Late C20 children's play equipment is laid out around the bandstand.
A secondary path branches south from the east path 270m south of the north-east entrance and follows a serpentine route through the highest ground in the park, adjacent to the east boundary. A level area 90m north-west of the south-east Carr Road entrance overlooks the park to the west and north-west. Descriptions of the opening of the park note that this area was formerly the kitchen garden of the demolished Hood House (ibid). The main eastern path divides 330m south of the principal entrance, with one arm curving south-east and leading up in a serpentine route to the Carr Road entrance and the other dropping down to the south-west boundary path. Secondary paths from this junction lead north-west and east with a small C20 children's play area immediately to the north.
In the south-east corner, a serpentine path leads down from the Carr Road entrance to the south corner of the park before turning north-west to follow the line of the stream running outside but adjacent to the south-west boundary. This section of path is partly edged with stonework with views of the park to the north screened by a steep embankment to the north-east with tree and shrub planting. The stream enters the park below an arch set in a stone wall built across the watercourse at a point 380m south-south-west of the north-east entrance. This feature is mentioned in descriptions of the opening of the park (ibid), together with a footbridge which no longer (2001) exists. To the north-east of the arch the embankment to the north-east of the path is set back to form an enclosed dell from which the boundary path continues north-west. It crosses the winding stream carried by a level bridge with low stone parapets. Rockwork flanks the sides of the stream and extends into the stream bed to form a series of shallow weirs.
The path divides into two 280m south-south-west of the principal entrance, with the western arm leading to the Fern Road entrance and the other arm continuing north, following the line of the stream and leading to three further bridge crossings. A stone shelter with slate roof is set against the south-west boundary 100m south-south-east of the Fern Road entrance. From the Fern Road entrance a serpentine path follows the line of the north-west boundary to the principal entrance from Scott Park Road, crossing the stream over the third northernmost bridge with its stone parapet at a point 140m south-west of the entrance. To the south-east of this bridge the stream widens between shallow weirs to form an oval pond with stone and concrete surround, overlooked by the Scott monument at the head of a steep bank to the north-east.
Scott Park is well maintained with many mature trees and shrubs. On the opening of the park in 1895 the design was highly praised for taking advantage of the natural features of the site and for providing 'a constant variety, a continual change of scene and an absence of any rigid geometrical lines' (ibid). The design remains (2001) substantially intact (Plan, Button 1895; OS 1912).
S Cryer, A Souvenir on the Opening of Scott Park (1895), pp 17, 22-4
Burnley Gazette, 7 August 1895; 8 October 1899
Burnley Express and Advertiser, 10 August 1895 [transcript at Burnley Reference Library]
Burnley Express, 29 May 1981; 14 September 1979; 4 August 1995
B Hall and K Spencer, Burnley: A Pictorial History (1993), pl 134
M Townend, Images of England: Burnley (1999), p 123
F S Button, Borough Surveyor, Scott Park, 1895 [sketch plan reproduced in Burnley Gazette, 7 August 1895]
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1848
OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1891, published 1893
2nd edition published 1912
F S Button, Bird's-eye view lithograph of Scott Park, 1895 (Townley Hall Art Gallery and Museum, Burnley)
Postcards and photographs of Queen's Park, c 1900 (Burnley Reference Library)
Description written: April 2001
Amended: May 2001
Register Inspector: HMT
Edited: April 2002