Manchester City Council

Sports, leisure & the Arts Blackburn Park Conservation Area

History

In medieval times the area was composed of a number of fields with a single large property, Parkfield House, near the centre. The estate came into the possession of Charles Blackburn, who became largely responsible for the varied form of development currently seen in the park. He sold only limited portions of land, each plot large enough to accommodate only three or four houses.

Wilmslow Road was the main road route to Wilmslow and other villages to the south of the city. The quantity of traffic increased to the point where another road was needed, and a turnpike road was constructed and opened in 1862 along the line of the present Palatine Road. It joined Wilmslow Road at Withington and crossed the River Mersey via a bridge at Northenden. The houses built along Palatine Road over the next twenty years constitute the first phase of development in Blackburn Park.

On 1st January 1880, the Midland Railway opened its Manchester South District line with nearby stations at Didsbury and Albert Park. This prompted the second phase of development up to 1905, when Charles Blackburn offered two thirds of his estate for sale in lots as sites for private houses. When Blackburn died, the remainder of his estate was sold, and this led to the third phase of development. Around this time the Northern Lawn Tennis Club, previously based in Old Trafford, bought a large part of the park. This resulted in a wide expanse of open land being preserved in the north of the conservation area.

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