Victoria Park is on the site of the Old Warps Estate. In 1897 the local council bought the estate from the owners and converted it into a park to provide an amenity for the local working-class people of the terraced housing of industrial Latchford. To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria the park was named “Victoria Park”.
Information provided by Warrington Borough Council
Additional information, photos and captions Copyright © Gordon I Gandy
Originally the Old Warps Estate was farmland.
Close to Black Bear Bridge is the site of the ancient ford over the River Mersey.
Used since about 8000 BC, it remained the only major crossing of the river until the middle of the 13th century. The first bridge was in use by 1285.
In the early 18th century a large area of the park was under water forming part of the notorious ‘hell hole’ – a river loop subject to severe silting causing many boats to run aground, and dangerous even at high tide.
In 1724 a series of weirs were built on the Mersey, the ‘hell hole’ was lost and over the next 100 years the ox bow that was left was filled in and became part of the Old Warps Estate.
In 1819 the oldest horse in the world retired to the Estate. Born in 1760, Billy worked for the Mersey and Irwell Navigation Company until 1819. Old Billy was 62 years old when he died on 27 November 1822.
In 1912 a suspension bridge was built from Howley across to Victoria Park. It should have been a 60-foot wide bridge to relieve traffic at Bridge Foot but insufficient funds meant that only the footbridge we see today was constructed. The area’s first municipal bowling green was opened in 1905 and the first public tennis court in 1920. The photo, right, shows the approach to the bridge from Victoria Park.
Running alongside Victoria Park is Black Bear Park.
Victoria Park makes a great place to get away from it all, and close to the town centre.
The town’s premiere site for sport, its 67 acres provides a wide range of facilities set in pleasant parkland. Centrepiece is an eight-lane running track with a floodlit pitch. The arena’s stand seats 250 and houses toilets, changing rooms, a kitchen and community room.
Opened in November 2003, this purpose-built, world class, exciting and imaginative concrete skatepark is provided for skateboarders, BMX riders, rollerbladers and in-line skaters. Users are advised to wear appropriate protective clothing.
A wide range of play equipment and attractions for children and young people are now on offer. The Playzone boasts some new play features to Warrington parks, including a unique six-metre high ‘alien’ play module and a challenging zip-wire ride. This £108,000 project has been achieved with funding support from external grants, contributions from the park’s project partners and a Landfill Tax Grant of £85,000 from Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd.
The project is part of the Communities Vision Project for the redevelopment of Victoria Park. The Victoria Park Steering Group is currently progressing with a range of other projects including improved park lighting, a new park café and activity centre, and the launch of the Community Garden Project.
Victoria Park is home to Warrington Athletic Club who meet on a Monday and Wednesday (6.00 – 9.00pm) and Thursday (6.30 – 8.30pm). For further information contact the Warrington Athletic Club Chairman on 01244 336762.
Bowlers are well catered for with two crown bowling greens – one of which is floodlit, and a pavilion complete with toilet and kitchen facilities.
Eight football pitches and two rugby pitches, along with a floodlit training area, are well used by northwest teams while the park also hosts many events from cross-country competitions to pop concerts and rallies.
Victoria Park’s wide range of facilities, including two indoor community rooms, are available for hire. Please contact the Outdoor Facilities Section on 01925 442727 for more information.
Day Ticket Fishing
In 1993 Warrington Anglers acquired three sections of the river to the east of Warrington town centre, which are now available for day ticket fishing. The sections run from Victoria Park down towards Woolston New Cut with various access and parking points along its length. Click the link to go to the Warrington Anglers website.
Victoria Park is easily accessible from Warrington town centre on the A50 Knutsford Road.
There is a large hard standing car park with ample room for coach parking.
Level surfaced paths give easy access to the bowling greens and arena. A lift is available in the arena stand along with disabled toilet facilities. There is also a disabled toilet in the outside toilet block which is accessible with a RADAR key.
For more information on Victoria Park, visit the Warrington Borough Council website.
Check with Warrington’s Own Buses for up-to-date information on bus timetables.