History of Rhyddings Park
Rhyddings Park was originally the grounds of a private house belonging to a local mill owning family. The first house at Rhyddings was demolished in 1853 and re-built in the style of an early Victorian country house villa for Mr Robert Watson, a local cotton magnate, who owned Stonebridge Mill and later Rhyddings Mill towards which his new house faced.
Today the layout of the park owes much to Mr Watson’s house, which was situated behind the ornamental balustrade until it was demolished in 1938. Other remnants of the house are the Coach House, which is currently used as a depot facility and a folly, which has been incorporated into the park as a feature and may have been built out of stone from the demolished Hall.
Mr Watson was also responsible for the development of housing in the vicinity of the park to provide accommodation for his workforce and thus had a strong influence on the area around the park.
Rhyddings Hall, as the house was known, ceased to be a private residence in 1909 when it was acquired by Oswaldtwistle Urban District Council along with its grounds, to provide a recreational facility for the people of Oswaldtwistle. The main impetus for the local Council acquiring Rhyddings Park came from Mr Arthur Hargreaves, a local industrialist and philanthropist who served on the Council between 1904 and 1922. Mr Hargreaves was the son-in-law of the owner of Moscow Mill.
The park has seen many features during its time as a public park including a museum and art gallery, bandstand, avairy, pet’s corner, children’s paddling pool, croquet lawn and was used for food growing during the war.
Further historical information is available upon request please call 01254 388 111 or email Enquiries@hyndburnbc.gov.uk