Devonshire Park Opened

Devonshire Park was officially opened to the public on 4th September 1888 and remains open today.

The Devonshire Park and Cliffe Castle Conservation Area Assessment (City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, April 2002): “(Devonshire Park) was laid out on the nine acres of land that were presented to the town of Keighley by the Duke of Devonshire in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, and was formally opened to the public on 4th September 1888. The establishment of Devonshire Park reflects the fashion in the closing decades of the nineteenth century for rich members of society to demonstrate their benevolence by gifting land and resources for use in municipal projects. It was a period of philanthropic gestures… The layout of Devonshire Park is typical of late Victorian parks, with serpentine paths curving around islands of formal planting and an ornamental lake, leading up to a broad gravel terrace just above the bandstand, ideal for its intended purpose as an area for peramble. In 1888, Devonshire Park was bounded on three sides by a Wesleyan Chapel, the residences of Mr. Summerscales, Mr. Prince Smith Junior and Mr. Henry Wright and the precincts of Cliffe Castle. It is evident that at this time a number of wealthy professionals had already set up home in the area, but to the masses the area remained relatively inaccessible, as it could only be reached by the use of private transport. The area continued to expand as a residential quarter throughout the closing decades of the nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth century, with the attractiveness of the park no doubt contributing to its appeal. The smaller roads were constructed to allow access to the new properties and as streets on which to site new developments.”

Postcards from the History Society’s digital archive on Flickr. 

Postcards of Devonshire Park from the History Society’s archive.

Author: Admin Tim

Tim is a committee member of the Keighley and District Local History Society, with responsibilities for archiving the physical and digital collections, and managing some of the social media channels. He moved to Keighley about 15 years ago and joined the Society to learn more about the area.

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