Ashton Gardens, St Annes

Ashton Gardens, St Annes

Ashton Gardens is an attractive park, full of amenities, right at the heart of St Annes. The address for Ashton Gardens is 5 St Georges Road, St Annes, FY8 2AE

The Gardens welcomes visitors and residents to enjoy the landscaping, the plants, trees and flowers.

Features in Ashton Gardens

St Annes War Memorial, the Pavilion Tea Room and Restaurant, and a whole host of other public facilities can be found in Ashton Gardens. Facilities include bowlings greens, play areas and a skate park, and public toilets.

Pavilion in Ashton Gardens
Pavilion in Ashton Gardens

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In recent years the Gardens have enjoyed restoration. A £2m Heritage Lottery Fund was secured in 2010. That enabled improvements to be made to the infrastructure. The entrance lodge buildings were restored along with the perimeter gates and railings. Refurbishment of the War Memorial itself and resurfacing of the footpaths was also carried out.

The Supporters of Ashton Gardens secured a grant in 2012 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the full refurbishment of the Lord Ashton Monument in the rose garden (below).

Lord Ashton Monument in Ashton Gardens St Annes
Lord Ashton Monument in Ashton Gardens St Annes

That work also included a new water fountain and replenishment of the rose beds.

Plaque on the Lord Ashton Monument in Ashton Gardens St Annes
Plaque on the Lord Ashton Monument in Ashton Gardens St Annes

As part of this work the setting of the War Memorial was also improved and provision made to light it up.

History of Ashton Gardens

Ashton Gardens is a lovely town centre park, with modern amenities and is a place for events and community life for the people of today. It’s also got an interesting  history and heritage for those who care to delve further.

Ashton Gardens were first laid out between 1875 and 1877, with a number of setbacks and problems to their early operation. The setbacks included the still familiar discussion about plans for houses to be built on the open space!

Lord Ashton eventually bought the park for the inhabitants of St Annes and the gardens are named after him. You can read the full story of the History of Ashton Gardens here on the Supporters of Ashton Gardens website.

Ashton Gardens St Annes
Ashton Gardens St Annes

Ashton Gardens War Memorial

In recognition of the special significance of the Ashton Gardens War Memorial it’s been upgraded from Grade II to II* Listed.

Ashton Gardens War Memorial St Annes
Ashton Gardens War Memorial St Annes

Historic England (formerly English Heritage) re-examined the War Memorial in Ashton Gardens as part of their review of War Memorials across the country.

The War Memorial in Ashton Gardens is in a prominent position that can be seen from Clifton Drive. It commemmorates the sacrifice and bravery of local people who were involved in war – the First and Second World Wars and later conflicts.

Lord Ashton also paid for the War Memorial which was designed by architect Thomas Smith Tait. He was a prominent Scottish architect who was known nationally and internationally for designing modernist architectural styles, including art deco.

Tait won a number of commissions after World War One to design war memorials often in collaboration with well-known sculptures. The bronze sculptures in St Annes were designed by Walter Marsden from Lancaster. Marsden had also been awarded the Military Cross.

The Memorial is a modernist style in ashlar stone and was unveiled on 12th October 1924 by Alderman CF Critchley JP.

Enhanced Listing for St Annes War Memorial

St Annes War Memorial was first listed on 15th February 1993. It was given an Enhanced Listing in August 2017 for the following reasons:

* Sculptural interest: for high quality and poignant depictions in the round of a shell-shocked soldier and a grieving widow, together with detailed chronological reliefs, by notable sculptor Walter Marsden;
* Rarity: for extremely rare depictions of a shell-shocked soldier, a grieving widow, wounded and gassed soldiers and women both on active service and on the Home Front;
* Architectural interest: a bold white granite pylon by Thomas Smith Tait, with high quality bronze sculpture by Walter Marsden;
* Design interest: for an unusual chronological series of panels in relief around the base of the monument;
* Historic interest: as an eloquent and poignant witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Group value: with the Grade II registered Ashton Gardens.

Find out More

Have a look at the Visit St Annes website homepage for more of the latest updates.

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