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Grange Park was developed from the grounds of Ribbleton Hall, a Victorian manor house built in 1865 for Thomas Birchall, a local solicitor and one time mayor of Preston.
Excavation of the original foundations has allowed the re-creation of the layout of the Hall and conservatory, as well as the adjacent kitchen garden. After Birchall’s death the Hall had various occupants, including a boys preparatory school in the 1920’s and the ATS and US troops during World War II.
The creation of the formal park began in 1955 after the Hall’s demolition. Under the supervision of Jack Billington , the park foreman, it soon boasted a bowling green with pavilion, tennis courts and magnificent rose beds, as well as many of the original trees and shrubs. Like many urban parks, the park fell into decline during the 1980’s; vandalism, fly tipping and general neglect led to virtual abandonment by bowling teams and local residents.
Responding to representations from local community groups in the late 1980’s the council made a successful bid for Heritage Lottery funding to restore the park to its former glory, including building the Interpretation Centre, and work began in September 1999.
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