Friends of Woodbank, Vernon
Turncroft Lane, Offerton
Location Map -
The Friends of Woodbank, Vernon
and Poise are working in partnership with Stockport Council
and Stockport Heritage Trust to reinstate the old Nature Trail,
include Heritage features and improve access along a section of the
River Goyt near Nab Weir. They have applied to the Big Lottery
Community Spaces Fund for financial support but need your help to
develop the project by answering completing
They are also working in partnership
with Stockport Heritage Trust and Stockport Council to remind people
why Woodbank Memorial Park was gifted to the people of Stockport.
They want to celebrate the memory of all those who gave their lives
in The Great War, in the Second World War and in all wars and
conflicts since. They will also remember the innocent victims of
war - civilians and the animals who also served. They have applied
to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a Your Heritage Grant for financial
support and need your help to develop this project by answering the
Woodbank Memorial Park is situated adjacent to Vernon Park, Offerton.
It is ideal for a leisurely stroll in its wide open spaces.
Woodbank Hall is a Grade II* listed building. The park connects with
the River Goyt and the Goyt Way. Footpaths can lead you through
Poise Brook or towards Otterspool and Bredbury, with the Midshires
Way and the Fred Perry Way passing through the parks.
The park is home to Stockport Harriers Athletics Club, who manage
the athletics stadium. Woodbank Memorial Park has a Local Nature Reserve and
Poise Brook Nature Reserve lies further east along the side of the
• Athletics stadium
• Children's play area
• 2 Nature Reserves
• 2 x cricket squares
• Orienteering course (maps available at Stockport Museum Cafe,
A 42 year old Nature Trail, lost for years, has been found and is
being restored by the Friends group. This trail links many of the
Heritage features of the park that many people don't even know
In 1921, Sir Thomas Rowbotham, a former Major of Stockport,
presented to the town, Woodbank Memorial Park in honour of the
Stockport men who died in the Great War. The park is 90 acres in
extent, is beautifully wooded and, skirted by the river Goyt,
presents striking natural views. The bluebells in the woods are a
feature almost unequalled in any public park in the country. (Taken
from the Stockport Official Guidebook 1949)
Stockport's historic Vernon Park received a £1.6 million Heritage
Lottery Fund grant to give it new life and restore the Park to its
former Victorian and Edwardian splendour.
This was the biggest lottery grant to be awarded in the Borough.
This is Stockport’s oldest public park lying just to the east of the
town centre. It’s an exceptional Victorian / Edwardian asset to both
the local community and the North West region. The park is well used
by schools for historical and environmental studies and provides
unique areas for traditional pastimes such as crown green bowls in
conjunction with beautifully restored areas of formal and informal
parkland. The site also boasts a mature woodland along the river
terraces which is being sensitively managed whilst maintaining
This park has benefited from a Heritage Lottery grant of 1.6 million
pounds, which amounted to 2.1 million pounds including match
funding. This work has included restoration work to many of the
features of heritage value in the park. Other features, which had
been lost, have been replaced with new replicas of the originals.
The Park celebrated its re-opening on 29 September 2000.
Also to Vernon Park's credit, it has been awarded the
prestigious Green Flag Award.
Facilities & features
• Grade 2 status in the Historical Parks and Gardens register
• Vernon Park Museum
• Historical plant collection (many themed planting beds)
• Drinking fountain
• Bandstand (new, but design matches original)
• Water cascades
• Fountain / lily pond
• Traditional cast iron / stone carved main entrance gateway
• Authentic Victorian style seating
• Walkways in mature river terrace woodland
• Historical stone seat
• 2 bowls pavilions and greens
Historical plant collection including: the Sunken Rose Garden,
Plants from Around the World, the Fernery, Plants from Great British
Plant Collectors, Rhododendron Bed, Herbaceous Borders, Victorian
Annual Bedding, The Rockery and Stockport’s first Pinetum.
The opening of the park took place on Monday 20th September 1858.
Once known as “Pinch Belly Park” or the “People’s Park”, Vernon Park
was built by Stockport Corporation on land donated by George John
Warren (Lord Vernon). It was an instant success, with mill workers
helping to construct park features.
Vernon Park is designated Grade II in the English Heritage Register
of Historic Parks and Gardens, and is an important example of an
early public park.