History of Ashton Park

From this page we give an insight to various aspects of the Park's history. The links at the left will give afuller story about our history.

The Park was first conceived by the Urban District Council of Hoylake and West Kirby when they announced their intention to build a large town park in West Kirby. Most of the land (9.8 acres) was leased from Miss Emma Mary Ashton, a wealthy spinster residing in Kensington in London who owned a sizable area of West Kirby land, land that was over the years to be developed for housing. The other part (3.1 acres), at the Church Road end, was glebe-land and leased from the Church.  Miss Ashton was the daughter of a Liverpool merchant called Ralph Ashton, who in turn was the son, and for a period, partner of Henry Ashton. Henry was a wealthy merchant but was born in Wigan into a family of linen manufacturers The park was eventually started in 1900 and opened in 1901 when still only partially completed. The park continued to develop – tennis courts, bowling-greens, pavilions and shelters were provided, eventually a children’s playground was built and a range of tennis courts provided in the Upper Park in the 1920’s. The look of the park has changed substantially over the years with the growth of the trees, remodelling and provision of additional sports and play facilities. The standard of care and maintenance has varied considerably over the years, sometimes to the detriment of the park. However The park has enjoyed something of a revival since the creation of the Friends of Ashton Park in May 1991.  

 

Why “Ashton Park”?

It is clear that the park was named after the Ashton family, most probably after Miss Emma Mary Ashton who leased most of the land making up the park to the Hoylake and West Kirby Urban District Council in 1899. The original name was West Kirby Park. It is not known at the present time when the name was changed but on her death in 1935, aged 90 years, it still appeared to be called West Kirby Park. There was disappointed comment on her death in a local newspaper that the park was not left to the Council in her will. Nevertheless, at some stage it was to become Ashton Park!