Friends of Dawstone Park

Information taken from the article by Roger Lane and Jenny McDonald in the Heswall Magazine, December 2014.

History of Dawstone Park

Dawstone Park was opened on 1st July 1931 as a result of a special project by the Heswall-cum-Oldfield Parish Council.  There is a commemorative sandstone plaque in the boundary wall with Dawstone Road, inscribed with the phrase "Floreat Sanctus Sanctorum"  which can be translated as "A very special place blossoms".  It was with this objective in mind that the Friends of Dawstone Park was set up in 2015


Dawstone Park was originally common land and was settled by the Edge family.  The 'tithe map' of 1851 shows Samuel Edge occupying the Dawstone Park area and William Edge the land north-east of the park, where the first houses in Dawstone Road are now built.  There are a number of buildings on the site of Dawstone Park, consistent with its use as a smallholding.Tithe maps were produced as part of the Enclosure Acts, which consolidated the ownership of common and wasteland and caused new roads to be build.  One of these new roads was Dawstone Road, which took its name from a hamlet called Dawstone, part of the parish of Heswall-cum-Oldfield.  Brow lane was a route from the lower village across Heswall Heath to reach Pensby and Liverpool

In 1924 the War memorial at the junction of Dawstone Road and the Mount was opened, giving a panoramic view across the smallholding below.  At this time the land of Dawstone Park was occupied by Thomas Swift, the son of Joseph Swift, who had married Alice Edge. The buildings and land was run down and the Parish Council which now owned the land decided to convert it into a park.  Joseph Swift was issued with an eviction order in November 1930 requiring him and his son to vacate the land within 3 months. 

Work on the park started on 23rd February 1931.  The old buildings were demolished, the good stone being used to build the walls adjoining School Hill and Dawstone Road.  Other stone were used to construct the rockeries where the land was mostly steeply sloped.  A well was filled in and the whole site landscaped.  Twelve seats were provided and paths laid.  Seven labourers, two masons and a joiner were employed over 13 weeks at a total cost, including materials of about £380.  Mr G Chamberlain was appointed as full-time caretaker and keeper of the park (plus handyman for the Parish) on a wage of £2.50 per week. 

In a report of the subcommittee dated 23rd May 1931 just before the park opened, the following comments were made:

"The subcommittee have spent considerable time in the course of the development of this land and and no effort has been spared to retain the truly rural aspect of the situation, and have worked consistently with the attainment of this objective in view, mainly to provide a rural sanctuary of seclusion for the elder people, in the midst of bricks and mortar, and also the provision of a small open space, free from danger, for the younger children to enjoy their pastimes."



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