HEATON MERSEY PARK AND BOWL
Heaton Mersey Park and Heaton Mersey Bowl are on the south side of Didsbury Road. Both these green spaces are part of the Heaton Mersey Conservation Area. The main entrances to the Park are on Richmond Road (to the top level) and Vale Close (to the lower level). See the google map at the end of the page.
The Park has two levels. The top level has a children’s play area, recreation and picnic areas and, at the far end, views across the Cheshire Plain. The lower level has a former bowling green and views across the Bowl. The Bowl is a large, steep-sided green space. In the early 1800s, cloth from the nearby Bleachworks (that was located at the bottom of Vale Rd on the edge of the River Mersey) would be pinned out here. Today, it has a football pitch in one corner, footpaths and benches around the edges.
Behind the Park and on the left as you reach the bottom end of Vale Close, are some steps up to the fishing pond. This was once one of two bleach works reservoirs that were locally referred to as ‘top pit’ (now a pond) and ‘bottom pit’ (now filled in).
History of Heaton Mersey Park
Heaton Mersey Park opened in 1897, at the same time as Heaton Moor Park, as a memorial to Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee. Joe Eaton in his book “Heaton Mersey 1181 to 1981” describes the event as follows:-
A procession was formed, headed by the band of Heaton Mersey Sunday School, conductor Mr Gorton, followed by the officers of the Heaton Norris Urban District Council, Chairman Mr. G.H. Bailey, members of the Wesleyan and Congregational Sunday Schools. Mr Nasmith presented Mr G.H. Bailey with a gold key to open the gates of the Park (Vale Road). The land was bought from Lord Egerton, the four acres costing £450. The making and laying out of the park cost £1,877.
Mr George Bailey and his brother Charles owned Peter Bailey & Sons, Potters and Brickmakers, a business established by their father in Harwood Road. The excavations of clay formed much of the terrain of what is now Heaton Mersey Common.
The bowling green was laid in 1902. It and other views can be seen below. These photos are shown here with the kind permission of Stockport Library. These and other local photos can be viewed at the Stockport Image Archive.
Click here to compare old Heaton Mersey with how it is today. When the map opens, use the transparency slider at the bottom left of page to change the view.
The Heaton Mersey Heritage Walk leaflet has more information about the history of Heaton Mersey and Heaton Mersey Park and Bowl.
(Tip: click anywhere on the map to remove legend)