Ainsworth Road, Bury
Grid Ref: (E) 379249, (N) 410901
Area: 7.8 hectares
- Playing fields with football pitches - two full size and one junior size
- Children's play area and youth zone
- Multi-play ball zone
- Two tennis courts
- Croquet and boules lawn and pavilion
- Car parks at the Lonsdale Street and Newbold Street entrances
A brief introduction to Whitehead Park
Located just over a mile from Bury town centre in the Elton ward of the Borough, Whitehead Park is an urban public park surrounded by a close knit local community who take pride in their neighbouring facility. The park consists of the main park area and the King George V playing fields which in total is around 7.8 hectares.
The park is fairly level throughout with well-maintained footways and is accessible to people using wheelchairs and families with push-chairs.
Green Flag Award
Whitehead Park has retained a Green Flag Award since 2005. The national Green Flag Award scheme recognises excellence in greenspace management and measures criteria such as cleanliness, maintenance, sustainability, community involvement, heritage, nature conservation, health, safety, security and overall management.
Bury Croquet Club
The bowling pavilion and croquet lawns are maintained by Bury Croquet Club.
Visit the Bury Croquet Club website to find out to how to play.
Whitehead Park was established in 1883 with contributions from Lord Derby, the Lord of the Manor and a public subscription and generous contributions of money from Sir Henry Whitehead.
The park was opened by the Prince of Wales, HRH Prince Albert Victor on 21 July 1888. The park was intended for those living in the Elton Township for recreation.
Originally, Whitehead Park was known as Elton Recreation Ground, but it was later renamed to honour Sir Henry Whitehead.
The following was said by Sir Henry Whitehead at a presentation, "In the days of high pressure, there is little of the hope and joy of youth left in children. They were brought up in the streets - in the gutter, and they were taken from the gutter to work half time in the mill and then instead of being allowed to play they were dragged by the School Board into school."
Many of the facilities in the park offered in the past are still available today. Originally the park accommodated cricket, croquet, tennis and children's informal play. However, it wasn't until the 1990's that the play equipment was installed in the children's play areas. Over the years these have been modified and upgraded to meet European standards and to keep in line with the modern trends.
The park also used to have a very popular band stand where numerous concerts were held. The band stand was positioned in a central location in the park - what remains of the bandstand is situated in front of the bowling pavilion and is today used as a landscape feature.
The old Bowling Pavilion was once situated between Lonsdale Street and the new compound. The new bowling pavilion was built in the late sixties, instigated by the then Mayor; Alderman Jack Roberts. Many bowlers of Whitehead Park Club have fond childhood memories of the park / recreation ground and have seen it develop over time.
The playing fields
The King George V Playing Fields have had a varied history. Initially, there was a reservoir on the site but later it was used as a land fill site. Following many complaints by local residents the council created football pitches which were formally named and opened on 5 January 1939.