Gardens of Grange Click here to go back to A-Z page
Normandy Veterans Garden
Ornamental Gardens (Duck Pond) - opens new page
Gardens - Park Road
Park Road Gardens is an ornamental park just along from Crown Hill and slightly away from the town centre. It is a very attractive and well maintained park, and has been awarded the Civic Trust ‘Green Flag Award’ more than once. It was established in the late 1920s by Grange Urban District Council, who purchased some old market gardens (used as allotments during World War 1) from Reverend James Park in 1926. They were formally opened on 6 April 1929. At the time, the gardens were quite open and had little planting – there were extensive views over the bay. This is shown clearly in the aerial photograph from 1929 below. In around 1930 a planting scheme was drawn up, and implemented – and is mainly what is seen today.
The cast iron bandstand, with an unusual zinc pagoda roof and ornamental ironwork, is the park’s central feature, surrounded by a small moat and seating. It was originally built by Harold Porritt, a textile factory director from Lancashire in around 1901-1904 on the promenade next to his Tea Rooms (see right). Ladies protested to the council about soot from passing steam trains ruining their dresses whilst they sat and listed to the music, so it was moved to Park Road Gardens. At some point in time, the sides of the Bandstand were glazed and enclosed - but these side panels have since gone. It was extensively renovated in 1990, and is listed by English Heritage. There are concerts in the park every Sunday during the summer – mainly brass bands, but also jazz. They are free, with collections and refreshments for sale. The first band to play there was Besses o'th' Barn - one of the oldest brass bands still in existence.
The sensory garden was added in 1998/2000 by the Soroptomists. It was previously the 'Rose Garden' (see postcard below).
The gardens also play host to the occasional play, and the annual Edwardian Festival.
Gardens - Normandy Veterans
Taken from the Plaque: "The Normandy Veterans Memorial Gardens. This area known as "Sunken Gardens"is thought to be the most historic place in Grange-over-sands. Grange is thought to take its name from a French word "graunge" meaning "granary", an example of which was probably built here by black-robed Augustinian Canons of Cartmel Priory, a 12th century religious house endowed by William Marshall. Until the dissolution of England's monasteries in 1536, Priors of Cartmel imported supplies into the "graunge" through a harbour once sited close to the present Commodore Hotel. During "setting out" of these gardens in 1925, Mr Benson, a landscaper discovered foundations of a large barn.
Gardens - Cox's Corner
Opposite Berners, on the corner of Park Road and Kents Bank Road is a small patch of grass and flowerbeds known as Cox's Corner. Originally this was a garden belonging to a Dr Cox who lived in the house opposite. Every afternoon as his children played in the garden, he would cross the road from his house and sit and watch them. At the same time each afternoon, his servant would cross Kents Bank Road and bring him his tea. At the time the garden was surrounded by a laurel hedge.
Dr Cox gave this to the town, and it is now maintained by the South Lakeland District Council. Recently (2016) the management changed from labour intensive annuals, to a more wildlife friendly, long term sustainable planting scheme.
Gardens - Yewbarrow
Thomas Mawson, the renowned landscape designer, created the formal gardens attached to Yewbarrow Lodge for Lieutenant Colonel Austin Porritt who was chairman of the Urban District Council.
The Lodge itself was badly damaged by incendiary bombs in 1941, but the gardens were unaffected.
The Lodge, gardens and woods were left by Porritt to the UDC as an open space for the people of Grange, and it is today criss-crossed by public footpaths.
In the 1950s the gardens were well laid out, and popular (the postcards date from then). More recently following the Lodge redevelopment, they became less formal - but the rock gardens have been restored by volunteers in the last few years