Vale Park

In 1830 the area of land now occupied by Vale Park was formerly an estate called Liscard Vale, this being the origin of the
park's name.  The estate was later divided, with the second estate being named The Woodlands, now recalled by
Woodland Drive, the Road situated at the park's Western boundary.

In 1898, at a cost of £7,750, both estates were purchased by Wallasey Urban District Council, with the intention of
providing a ‘lung' or breathing space for an increasing population.  The combined grounds opened as Vale Park on 20th May
1899.

Vale House built c1830 was originally a family home possibly belonging to a Cotton broker and was later extended.  The
family of Charles Holland, a Liverpool businessman and Wirral JP, lived here for over 50 years.  Charles Holland travelled
widely, returning with Botanical specimens and many of the trees now gracing the park were planted by his gardeners.

For much of the 20th century Vale House accommodated the park staff, though it lay disused for some years the Friends of
Vale Park encouraged the council to restore it.  It opened as a community centre in 1993.

William Grinsell Burston was the first Head Gardener of Vale Park, though his title was Curator, perhaps reflecting the
knowledge and expertise of someone in this position at the end of 19th century. He came to Liscard Vale as Head Gardener
in 1890. When the estate was taken over by the council; ‘W.G' (as he was always known) stayed on and became Curator to
the new Vale Park. Most of the laying out of the park, arranging the flower beds and paths, etc was undertaken by him. He
was considered to be an expert Botanist, and spent many hours sorting seeds and discussing rare plants with specialists
from Liverpool museum. W.G. died at Vale Park House in 1918.

Ernest Burston, W.G's youngest son worked as a Vale Park gardener between 1918 and 1946 living with his wife in Vale
House which had been converted into two flats following his father's death.  In 1926 a Doric-columned bandstand was
constructed and played host to brass band concerts as it continues to do so to this day.

The park eventually passed into the hands of Wirral Borough Council and has seen some restoration over th years, mainly
due to the efforts of The Friends of Vale Park.  A successful application for funding in 1999 enabled restorative work to the
Bandstand to be undertaken. Works included; waterproof treatment to the dome roof and rainwater channels,
refurbishment of performers changing facility, re-laying of staging, exterior painting and re-cladding to the rear elevation to
improve security of the structure.  

During 1999 funding was also sought to replace the entire perimeter fencing of the bandstand site to both better secure
and define the space as a performance/events area. This work coincided with the parks centenary celebrations, (the date of
which is commemorated in steelwork topping the gate entrance into the area
Additional Pictures:
Vale Park Band Stand Restoration
Vale Park and Bandstand
Vale Park c1930
Vale Park House
Vale Park 1917
Vale Park
Vale Park c1905
Vale Park Promenade
W.G Burston 1st Curator of Vale Park
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