Lost Lancaster park will be restored to former glory

Lune Bank Gardens in its heyday
Lune Bank Gardens in its heyday

Plans are being drawn up to restore a neglected public park in Lancaster.

Lune Bank Gardens was created in 1905 as a formal promenade along the north bank of the river Lune, from Skerton towards the Lune Aqueduct with money donated by Lord Ashton.

Lune Bank Gardens now

Lune Bank Gardens now

Flanking Halton Road for about 400m, it was enjoyed by many as a place to escape the hustle and bustle of the roadside, to take in the scenery on the seating provided, and to enjoy a spot of fishing.

It was tended to by a permanent gardener and became a tranquil place for residents living nearby.

But after World War II there was no permanent gardener and the gardens suffered from vandalism.

The roadside hedge was removed and the upper walk made into a path with a grass verge only.

Since then the park has become overgrown and not often used, but a local community group is hoping to change all that and is inviting people on a series of guided walks through the former formal gardens as part of the city’s Heritage Open Days.

The Friends of Lune Bank Gardens also hopes to make the park a designated local green space, and have put in an application as such to Lancaster City Council.

The group is working with Lancaster community organisation LESS to raise funds to refurbish the gardens to bring them back into use for the local community.

Chris Coates, who is working on the project for LESS, said: “Lune Bank Gardens was laid out in 1905 as a formal promenade along the north bank of the river from Skerton towards the canal aqueduct with money from Lord Ashton.

“Over the years it has been neglected and needs lots of work to bring it back into use.

“There are two chances to go on the guided walks starting from the Rowing club boathouse on Friday September 11 between 6pm and 8pm, when the Mayor of Lancaster will be attending, and on Sunday September 13 between 1pm to 5.30pm.

“Everyone is welcome.”

Further information on this and other Heritage Open days can be found on the website: http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/lune-bank-gardens-guided-walks.

lSee page 74 for more spaces open in the city as part of Heritage Open Days.