Walton Hall Gardens was originally part of a much larger country estate purchased in 1812 by the Greenall family, famous for their success in the brewing industry. The Estate was bought by Warrington Borough Council in 1941 and has been enjoyed as a park since 1945
Information provided by Warrington Borough Council
Additional information, photos and captions Copyright © Gordon I Gandy
History of Walton Hall
The mansion is Elizabethan in style, but was actually built in the 1830s, as the family home of Gilbert Greenall and designed by Edmund Sharpe of Lancaster, who later became famous for the Gothic revival in architecture.
Here, the Warrington brewer adopted the lifestyle of a country squire with great success and earned the title of Lord Daresbury. Lewis Carroll is believed to be one of the early visitors.
Today the hall and thirty acres of surrounding parkland is widely used for wedding parties, business functions and family celebrations. Walton Hall is owned and maintained by Warrington Borough Council. In mid September 1994, the Council completed a lengthy programme of refurbishment, restoring much of the original splendour and incorporating modern facilities – including a bar on both floors.
Walton Hall, former home of the Greenall family of brewers.
The interior is breathtaking. Time has mellowed the oak panelling and elaborate mahogany fireplace in the hall. Stained glass panelled windows light up the impressive collection of Victorian paintings lining the staircase. For information on the available facilities and hiring of the hall please visit the Venues for Hire page of the Warrington Borough Council website located in the Business & Economy section.
In 2014 the hall was used as a filming location for the six-part BBC drama Our Zoo, which follows the true story of the Mottershead family who, in the face of staunch opposition and huge personal sacrifice, founded Chester Zoo in the 1930s.
My thanks to www.djkennylive.me.uk for supplying mywarrington with these exclusive photos (below) from behind the scenes of the shoot of the BBC drama Our Zoo at Walton Hall earlier in 2014.
Memorial to Bubbles, a horse buried in the grounds
The Park Today
The park is the ideal place for a family day out with spacious lawns, picnic areas and play areas.
You can see squirrels, woodland birds such as nuthatches, tree creepers and woodpeckers. Evening visitors include bats, foxes and owls. You may even be lucky enough to spot a weasel.
The gardens are an ideal starting point for country walks. Footpaths are waymarked to local beauty spots such as Hill Cliffe, Appleton Reservoir and the Bridgewater Canal. Those wishing to explore further will find OS Explorer maps 275 and 276 useful. The Rangers lead regular walks throughout the year.
Outdoor games include bowling, golf and crazy golf.
Each year Walton Hall Gardens plays host to the Annual Disability Awareness Day where information can be found on all aspects of living with disability. For further information please contact the Warrington Disability Information Service on 01925 240852.
Disabled parking areas are provided in the main car park (free for orange badge holders), as well as disabled toilets (using RADAR key) with baby changing area, lifts in the Hall, which also features a disabled toilet and with many paths surfaced by tarmac, the grounds are accessible to all. You are now able to request online the free use of a wheelchair for your visit to Walton Gardens.
Other activities and events at the gardens include the Animal Adoption Scheme, Friends of Walton Estate and Friends of Walton Hall Music Society.
The Heritage Centre, which is situated in the old stable yard, shows what life was like in the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as a small Lewis Carroll exhibition.
Also, visit the Cycle Museum which is housed in the grounds.
A coffee shop and gift shop is incorporated into the Centre.
From Warrington town centre take the A56 or J11 off the M56, following the A56 towards Warrington and turn off by the traffic lights at the Walton Arms pub.
For more information on Walton Hall Gardens, see their website.
The Arriva X30 bus passes by the gardens. visit the Arriva website for more information.