Parts of Walton Hall and Gardens have reopened

Read our full statement.

Competition time. Read this short article on the history of Walton Hall and Gardens taking particular notice of the first letter of each paragraph, they spell out a word. Read on, prizes and how to enter are at the end of this fascinating piece…

Walton Hall and Gardens have been an important part of Warrington’s local history. Since Edward Greenall (of Greenall’s Breweries) bought the land in 1814, successive generations have cared for the estate, which continued to grow and prosper. Gilbert Greenall, Edward’s grandson, even gained a peerage to become Lord Daresbury in 1927.

As a matter of fact, over the years, the estate has been used for many purposes. It was a base for award-winning breeding horses, there were piggeries behind what is now the Children’s Zoo and prize-winning Kerry cattle roamed where the play area stands. They were housed in the Shippon, which is now classrooms and community spaces for Myerscough and the Walton Lea Project. Walton Hall and Gardens has always been popular – when the Daresburys would throw open their grounds in the 1920s and 30s there would be thousands of visitors. 

Looking back at recent VE day celebrations reminds us that Walton Hall and Gardens had soldiers based in the Hall and offices above the Heritage Café. In fact, the name of Sgt Ayres’ is still stencilled on the door. Also, if you look carefully at the weather vane above the clock tower, you can see the bullet marks where American GIs would practice their shooting skills.

Tragically, due to the death of Lord Daresbury and ongoing war costs, the Greenall family had to sell the estate in 1941 for the sum of £19,000. In today’s money, that would be a whopping £966,370.54.

On 19 May 1945, just after VE day, the estate was opened for the first time as a public park. Since then, we’ve become a much-loved venue. The first children’s playground and the bowling green were built in the 1950s and the Children’s Zoo almost 40 years ago. Today we’re open for celebrations, events, leisure, peace and nature.

Now, because this is our 75th anniversary as a public park, we had multiple celebrations planned. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 we’re temporarily closed. So, to keep you busy in the meantime, if you look back at the first letter of each paragraph (starting with the second paragraph), they spell out a word. To win a super Walton Hall and Gardens family package (including a fantastic children’s tracker pack(s), a game of Adventure Golf, Pitch ‘n’ Putt and a free car parking pass), all you need to do is tell us what that word spells out. Send your answers via our contact form – make sure you put 75 anniversary competition in bold letters before you note down your answer! The closing date 31 May 2020.  Here’s to the next 75 years – cheers.