- Heritage Category:
- Park and Garden
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Calderdale (Metropolitan Authority)
- Non Civil Parish
- National Grid Reference:
- SE 08234 26130
A public park laid out in the late 1870s and opened in 1881.
On 22nd November 1872, Colonel Edward Akroyd, a leading business man and benefactor, promised to build Shrogg's Park in Halifax. The site was a rough, irregular piece of waste land, entirely barren at one end and at the other, thickly covered with dwarf oak scrub, from which the Park gained its name, and pieces of rock. His plans almost came to nothing when the proposed Midland Railway scheme intended to build a line through part of what is now the Park. During a committee meeting of the House of Commons, Akroyd gave evidence of the measures he had undertaken so far and of his intention to provide a place for cricket, bowls, croquet, archery and other games. The railway scheme was turned down and work on the Park commenced. From 24th June 1873, the freehold for the land was leased from Captain Henry Savile of Rufford Abbey, Nottinghamshire for 999 years at a rent of £1. At a cost of over £10,000, work began on building the boundary wall, levelling ground and forming drives and footpaths. On 25th June 1879, Colonel Akroyd handed the partially completed park over to the Halifax Corporation for the benefit of the town. A list of conditions were attached to the generous gift:- the area was to be used only as a public promenade and recreation ground, and kept open during the whole year, including Sundays; that no charge be made for admission; that music and games be allowed under certain regulations; and that the Corporation spend a minimum of £1500 completing the Park and set aside an annual maintenance budget of at least £100 to keep the Park in a proper condition.
The final layout of the Park featured over 60,000 trees and shrubs; a fountain basin; a handsome, ornamental drinking fountain; striking bedding out displays and a shelter pavilion. In April 1881, Captain Savile gifted two plots of land in Shrogg's Road to improve the entrance to the Park. Later that year, on the 23rd June, the Park was officially opened to the public. It remains (2001) in public ownership today. DESCRIPTION
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Shrogg's Park is located c 2km north-west of Halifax town centre. It is situated on high promontory overlooking the Shroggs Mills and the Hebble Brook valley to the west. To the north and east the park lies against streets of late C19 stone villas whilst to the west and south the land falls to the industrialised valley. The park is c 10ha and comprises a mixture of landscape elements. The centre of the park is level and is laid out to accommodate a lake, floral displays, sports field, bowling greens, playground and depot. To the west and south-west the land falls steeply to the Shrogg's Road. The slopes are covered with broad leaf scrub and in the north-west of the site, rock outcrops form a striking landscape feature and viewing platform to the south and west. The land to the north and east falls more gently to St. George's Road and Lee Mount Road.
A dressed stone wall c 1.70m high contains the park. Along St.George's Road and to the west and east of the Lee Mount Road entrance, the wall is reduced to a curb to accommodate iron railings, which were removed in the mid C20 as part of the war effort. Along the north of the park against the Lee Mount School the boundary is marked by a steel security fence c 2.25m high.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The principal entrance, and accompanying lodge, is at the junction of Lee Mount Road and St. George's Road in the east of the park. Three stone gate piers, c 3m high mark the vehicular and pedestrian entrance although the original gates are gone and are replaced with a steel security barrier of late C20 design and construction. To the west and east of the gate piers the wall comprises a low stone curb on which iron railings were located. These were removed in the mid C20 and have not been replaced (2001). A second vehicular and pedestrian entrance is situated at the extreme north of the park at the junction between Lee Mount Road and Wheatley Road. The three stone gate piers are in place although they are not complete as two of them have lost their stone balls that cap the pier.
In addition to the two main entrances there are three pedestrian entrances. One is situated on Lee mount Road c 120m west of the Lodge Entrance. Original stone gate piers remain, however the steel gate is from the late C20. Restoration work and repointing to the stone wall to the west and east of the entrance is inappropriate and not of conservation standard. A second entrance is c 150m south of the Lodge Entrance on St. George's Road. The gate and gate piers are missing. Access to the south of the park from Shrogg¿s road is via a flight of stone steps which punctuate the boundary wall. Two stone gate piers, c 2m high, mark the entrance and although the gate is missing there is 0.4m run of original cast iron railings on a stone curb still in situ on either side of the piers. Immediately beyond the entrance a 3.5 m high stone wall retains the steep west bank of the park. Access to the north-west and south-east paths along the bank is provided by two flights of steps which run along the face of the retaining wall. The steps lead to the paths that are surfaced with stone setts, which incorporate a distinctive raised run of setts at frequent intervals. This configuration is known locally as cat steps and was designed to aid grip on the stone paths.
PRINCIPAL BUILDING The principal building is a stone and slate lodge situated c 20m south of the entrance gates at the junction of St. George's Road and Lee Mount Road. It is still used as accommodation and is in a good state of repair.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS The five entrances are linked to a perimeter path that encompasses the flatter areas of the park on the top of the hill. Set within the path are the recreational and games facilities including two bowling greens, multi purpose sports areas and two football fields. Between the path and the north boundary wall shrubberies covered banks
The principal park features are located in the north-west of the site. Located c 150m south-east of the Wheatley Road entrance a stone edged fountain basin is placed in the centre of gently raised grassed banks. The fountain no longer contains water and is now (2001) turfed. A raised bank for floral displays is situated c15m to the west of the fountain basin however the bank also now (2001) completely turfed . Approximately 25m to the south-east of the basin is a small stone edged serpentine lake c 70m long and c 14m wide. A gothic style, stone drinking fountain set on four steps is situated on the perimeter walk c 60m south-east of the fountain basin.
Shrogg's Road to the west is served by two historical paths which are paved with stone setts with rockery stone edges. A third path, which ran underneath the rock outcrops in the north-west of the park has fallen into disuse. C20 paths were built along the western slope.
Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions,1948, p98 The New Shrogg's Park, The Halifax Guardian, 4 June 1881 Shrogg's Park, Colonels fight against railway inroad, The Halifax Guardian, 30 January 1950
Maps OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1907 2nd edition published 1919 3rd edition published 1922 3rd edition published 1933
Illustrations Early C20 postcards of Shrogg's Park, Halifax, Halifax Central Library
Archival items Halifax County Borough Minutes, 1880-1883, Halifax Central Library
Description written: July 2001 Amended: August 2001 Register Inspector: PV Edited: October 2001
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
- Parks and Gardens
This garden or other land is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by Historic England for its special historic interest.
End of official listing