History of Lund Park

The land for Lund Park was given to Keighley Corporation in 1888 by James Lund DL of Malsis Hall, a large landowner and native of the town.

Lund’s gift of 6.1 ha of land, together with £6000 for laying out the park, was accepted in preference to a first offer to sell his estate of 22.3 ha at Knowle Park.

The land was laid out and planted by Keighley Corporation and was opened to the public by Mrs Lund on 21 July 1891. The Mayor, Ira Ickringgill, subsequently entertained 200 citizens to luncheon and in the evening over 20 000 people gathered in the park when it was illuminated by 7000 small lamps and lanterns (Guide to Keighley Parks). A bandstand was given by Keighley Friendly Societies' Gala Committee, a drinking fountain was donated by Lund’s children, and a fountain, sited in a small lake, was given by James Lund.

In the late 20th Century, the park was refurbished including the provision of new play equipment, resurfacing of all paths, and a new skateboard / BMX facility.

Lund Park stone feature

 

Lund Park remains (2007) in use as a public park and is in the ownership of the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Description Location, Area, Boundaries, Landform, Setting The 6.1ha site lies 1km to the south-west of Keighley town centre.

The park is roughly square and is enclosed on all sides by late 19th century, predominantly stone terraced, housing. Both Malsis Road to the north-east, with terraces named ‘Park Villas’, and Park Avenue running north-east from the main entrance, at the centre of the north east boundary, appear to have been designed in conjunction with the park. A stone school building set at the north-east end sited close to the park boundary with only the narrow track of Selbourne Grove between. This track may follow the line of an earlier field boundary shown on the 1852 OS map.

The area is predominantly residential with areas of allotments to the south-east and north-west and some late 20th century light industrial development to the north, towards the town centre.

The park boundaries area marked by low stone walls with piers to the corners and evidence of railings, now (2007) removed. Walls are stepped on the north-west and south-east boundaries to follow the ground level. On all sides there is boundary tree planting on ground mounded up to the perimeter, so that from within the park the boundary wall and street beyond is generally not visible.

The ground rises gently towards the east and west of the park with gentle undulations and a dip in the embankment to the north-east and south-east of the bowling greens. Entrances and Approaches The principal entrance gives access from Malsis Road to the north-east via the centre of the north-east boundary. It is set back in a semicircle from the road and is marked by a carriage entrance flanked by two pedestrian entrances set between stone gate piers with pedimented caps. The outer face of the two centre piers bear carved coats of arms and the outer two piers have engraved marble panels recording the opening of the park. There is evidence of gates which are not longer present. Other entrances into the park, two in the south-west boundary to Grafton Road and one in the northwest boundary to Manville Road, are formed by informal breaks in the boundary wall.

Gardens and Pleasure Grounds

Lund Park is divided into two by a tree-lined promenade, 7m wide, running southwest from the principal entrance on the north-east boundary. To the north-west of the promenade lie a football ground, with bowling greens and skateboard and BMX tracks to the south-west. To the south-east of the promenade is an area of undulating curving paths running between open areas of contoured grass with groups of trees, shrubs, and small areas of formal bedding. A meandering pedestrian path follows the boundary of the park on both sides of the promenade, forming a circuit punctuated by open circular areas, on at the main entrance and the second adjacent to the centre of the north-east boundary.

Lund Park Fountain

Immediately inside the main entrance is a circular raised bed with stone surround, formerly the base of a late 19th century bandstand sited adjacent to the north-west boundary and now removed. In the east of the park, 45m south of the main entrance, a short flight of stone steps and shallow depressions mark the location of former ponds. Part of a cast-iron fountain on a stone base is situated 100m south of the main entrance. The 1950 OS map shows three serpentine ponds in this area of the park and a pond with a fountain. This feature is shown in a photograph of c 1955 (CBMC) with the pond bounded by shrub planting and hoop-topped railings. The fountain is currently (2001) incomplete and not operating, with 0.3m of the stone base visible above ground. The c 1955 photograph shows the square base of the cast-iron fountain, with decorative lion-head reliefs supporting two circular basins, the whole set on a stone pedestal 0.9m above the water level.

In the south of the park, 150m south-south-west of the main entrance, there is a children's play area. The 1950 OS map shows tennis courts on a raised platform in the same area which appears to have been largely re-levelled. From the south-west of the park there are views out to distant hills to the south-east and north-east.

To the west, c 170m south-west of the main entrance, there are two bowling greens with pavilions. One pavilion to the south-west is of brick under a steep tiled roof and the other, later one, to the north-west, is of timber. To the south-east and north-east of the bowling greens low stone terrace walls with short flights of steps give access to the greens, set into the slope rising to the western corner of the park.

In the north of the park, also to the north-west of the promenade, is a football field and a further children’s play area with timber fence surround, 120m east-north-east of the main entrance.

Lund Park retains a strong axial layout with sporting activity areas to the north-west side of the promenade and with a more relaxed informal layout of gardens to the south-east. Shrub planting is now less dense than is shown in photographs from the 1950s but the tree planting provides a strong framework.

The molded boundaries and accompanying tree planting is a particular feature which, combined with enclosing views to the surrounding housing and the small size of the park, create an intimate character.

 

References:

Unitary Development Plan, (Bradford Metropolitan Council 1998)

A Guide to Keighley’s Parks, guide leaflet, (Bradford Metropolitan Council Recreation Division, nd)

Maps OS 6” to 1 mile 1st edition published 1852

Archival items Photographs of Lund Park, c 1955 (Bradford Metropolitan Council Recreation Division)

Link to Bradford Council Lund Park web page

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