Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Lost Parks Of Huddersfield II (A Sepia Saturday Post)

The original postcard and the photograph I took yesterday from the same spot.
The other day I did a post featuring an old postcard dating back to the 1930s. The card had a picture of somewhere called Beaumont Park in Huddersfield and I commented that, despite having lived in the town for over 15 years, I had never heard of the Park. I promised to go in search of it and report back. The picture I came back with was as sepia as the one on the postcard so I thought it would make a fitting Sepia Saturday post.

The Gatehouse
Let me first of all say that I should be ashamed of myself : Beaumont Park is the oldest park in Huddersfield and surely must be one of the most spectacular in West Yorkshire. Situated just to the south of Huddersfield town centre and stretching along the steep valley of the River Holme, the park was laid out in the 1880s following a gift of the land from the wealthy local land-owner and politician, Henry Frederick Beaumont. In making the gift, Beaumont said that the object of the resulting park should be "to increase the happiness, promote the good health and elevate the minds of the people of Huddersfield".

Building access roads, planting a wide range of vegetation and setting out woodland walks was a considerable undertaking for the local town council and a special rate was levied on all house-owners. But it must have been worth it because during the 1880s a spectacular park emerged offering wonderful views over the valley and towards the Pennine hills.

The View From Beaumont Park
Today the park is still cared for by the local Kirklees Council with the enthusiastic support of a group of volunteers - the Friends of Beaumont Park. They have a fine website where you can find further information about the history of the park and the delights it can still offer the visitor 125 years after it was first opened. My thanks to the very late Uncle Fowler for introducing me to this little gem of a park via one of his old postcards.

Beaumont Park, July 2010
This is a Sepia Saturday post. Go to the Sepia Saturday Blog to get links to all the other Sepia Saturday bloggers or join in the fun yourself.


  1. First of all: PHEW! I was so worried that it wouldn't be there any longer.

    Second - *treat* photos, all of them. It was especially nice to see how little has changed, except for the trees being bigger.


  2. And of course, I meant *Great* photos...sigh...really should proof read my comments before hitting post. Sorry... :)

  3. That's a really excellent park! And I love your modern photos "sepia-fied"; good choice!

  4. The photo you took actually looks better than the one in the original postcard. I'm so pleased to see that the park is still there and flourishing. The trees have grown in, but otherwise it is little changed. You British folks just don't seem to understand how to properly destroy beauty and history. We could teach you a thing or two there.

  5. Thank goodness for the wise and generous benefactors of days gone by. I wonder how many British parks we would have left if all such land donations were taken out of the reckoning.

  6. Beautiful and I'm glad to see the park and its trees still flourishing. If that was in these parts, it would sadly have been covered over in concrete and development by now...

  7. I love the comparison photo that you took to compare to the postcard from the 1930s. Great post!

  8. Hey Alan, You should do a feature like this on all the parks in your area and submit it to your local newspaper. I'm sure they'd be pleased to publish it! It really is so well-researched and written, how could they not?


  9. Yes Local Victorian benifactors certainly left their mark in Britain.(Another,of course was Savile in Halifax.)
    Ironic that modern capitalists will want to take away such beauty.
    (Kirklees Council will no doubt have to give 40% of it away to Tescos!)
    Alan.I doubt we will ever have a Cameron Park to walk through!

  10. It's a beautiful park. It's thrilling that you could find the very spot to snap the second photo.

  11. Alan, this is treat in two parts - or perhaps two parks - and the posts have been utterly fascinating. These days, local councils seem to struggle with collecting the rubbish, let alone commit to this kind of project in the interest of the local community. Excellent stuff!

  12. Anonymous8:18 PM

    Great post Alan. It is amazing the park is still there and taken care of. I had a post a few weeks back about where I went to 4-H camp and an old picture, when I went back there is was crumbling and eerie. I do wish I had taken a picture of the rubble, even though eerie and sad.

  13. It's surprising that the old and new look so nearly identical. I think it wouldn't happen in America. The view from the park are spectacular but I especially like the photo of the overpass. Was it cool the day you were at the park? This is a great way to save and share a bit of history.

  14. The only thing different (except the size of the trees) is the amount of park benches. There seem to be fewer now or maybe they're just spaced out more. Maybe modern day people don't like to sit so close together.
    I had a post about a park (our girl scout meeting place.) It was called Trumble Park. I googled it and got some interesting information. It played a part in a race riot (a few years after we had left, luckily) There's even a book about it. I think I'll post the whole story next week.

  15. You have some really great photos there. I also like that you took the time to research and find out more about the park. I always like to see photos of the construction of something, especially the old ones.

  16. What fun to photograph the same area makes for interesting comparisons, not much has changed:)

  17. first:
    shame on you for ignoring such a lovely location!!!

    this said...
    beautiful pictures. less benches now? i guess we need more space now...

  18. I love this pictorial history and your writings as well about this. What fun to photograph today the postcard scene from 'ago. The trees have grown substantially more and yet the park is still as charming.

  19. Beautiful shots, Alan--& it is amazing to see that view looking so much the way it did so many years ago.

  20. That gate house is wonderful. It is a magical looking thing. I also like the bridge. Great to see such good black and whites.

  21. Wow! It's still there! I just knew there would be a factory or something built there in it's place. haha. And it's just beautiful! That last photo of the bridge is stunning. Now you can go and enjoy often and thank your U. Fowler! What a wonderful ending to the story!


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