Historic Greater Manchester Park dating back to 1846 given Grade II listed status by Historic England

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The park has become a popular spot in the city to enjoy

A park in Greater Manchester has been given Grade II listed status by Historic England. Peel Park in Salford dates back to 1846 and its historical and social significance has been given further recognition. 

The park also has historic significance due to its value in the eyes of artist LS Lowry. The Stretford-born creative trained at the nearby Peel building, with the park featuring in several of his works. 

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A prominent statue in the park has also been given Grade II listed status. The sculpture of Joseph Brotherton MP has stood in Peel Park since 1858 and a is symbol for Salford’s first Member of Parliament. 

Brotherton fought for parliamentary reform and was a supporter of pacifism and free trade. Amongst his work was also the chairing of an 1840s committee to create suitable parks for rapidly expanding industrial areas, which of course included the Greater Manchester area, as a result of being on the forefront of the industrial revolution. 

Sarah Charlesworth, Listing Team Leader with Historic England, said: “Peel Park is an excellent example of early municipal park development. Its association with influential figures in social history such as Joseph Brotherton MP and the artist LS Lowry, together with its lasting impact on park design, justifies its place on the national register.

“Peel Park has long been a cherished space for the community, offering a unique blend of history, recreation, and natural beauty. Its registration at Grade II will not only preserve its rich heritage, but also reinforces its role as a public space, for the enjoyment of everyone, for generations to come.” 

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Peel Park in Salford Peel Park in Salford
Peel Park in Salford

Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, said: “This is really welcome news that this important statue and our historically significant park have been entered onto the National Heritage List for England. What this means is that these two hugely important pieces of our city’s heritage are now protected for future generations to enjoy and discover.

 “We’ve always been passionate about telling the unique story of Salford’s past as a city of ‘firsts’ and a hotbed of creativity and innovation and we continue to be committed to celebrating and protecting the parts of this story. So it’s immensely pleasing that both the Brotherton Statue and Peel Park itself have now both been recognised nationally.  

“Peel Park as well is a source of local pride, having been the first free public park in a major industrial city in the UK, opening in 1846, and funded almost entirely by the people’s donations. When it opened, it was pivotal in driving societal change, cutting through the social status of the day and bringing residents from all walks of life together to enjoy the many benefits of leisure time and open spaces.”

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