History of Peel Park and the Coppice
The land that today comprises Peel Park and the Coppice was acquired for recreational use by the Town Council of Accrington from the Peel family who originated from Peel Fold, Oswaldtwistle and who are notable for Sir Robert Peel the Prime Minster and founder of the Police force. Some of the land was purchased at a favourable price and the Peel family donated the remainder. The work of laying out the park was implemented to coincide with periods of depression and so alleviate local unemployment.
Mr William Peel officially opened the park on 29 September, 1909 . The opening ceremony included a procession of 5,000 children from local schools, three bands and civic dignitaries walking from Avenue Parade to the top of the Coppice. The school’s represented on the procession; Cambridge Street, St Anne’s, St Mary Magdalene’s, Hargreaves Street, St Andrew’s, St Mary’s Woodnook, Spring Hill, St John’s, Hyndburn Park, Benjamin Hargreaves, St Peter’s, St Oswald’s, St John’s Baxenden, Green Haworth and St James’.
On the Coppice there used to be four guns which were donated by William Peel in 1910. They overlooked Peel Park and Peel’s Accrington House.
On the 26 September, 2009 there was a centenary celebration marking 100 years from the handing over of the Coppice to the people of Accrington, this included a grand procession from Peel Park to the top of the Coppice. The procession was lead by the Mayoress of Hyndburn, Sarah Barton, who was escorted to the top of the hill by an actor who was dressed in period costume from 1909.
There was also musicians lining the route of the procession who joined at the top to preform music.
The procession coincided with the refurbishment of the paths and the Peel monument.
Further historical information is available upon request please call 01254 388 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org