Lowe Hill in Clarence Park is the site of a motte and bailey castle probably constructed around 1150. It has extensive areas of ridge and furrow on the slopes of the hill which are clearly visible. In 1953 excavations were carried out on the hill and medieval pottery was found. At the present, the Friends of CHaT Parks are applying for funding to carry out archaeological investigations on Lowe Hill. [Read more…] about Lowe Hill / Cannon Ball Hill
Park Facilities and Attractions
The miniature railway is situated by the children’s playground near the Athletics Stadium in Thornes Park. It is run by the Wakefield Society of Model and Experimental Engineers and was first operated in June 1958. The track runs for about half a mile and is open during the summer months. In 2020 a raised track was begun to be constructed for additional runs.
The newly refurbished Bandstand, opened in 2014 is used for a whole range of performance events. This facility while owned by Wakefield MDC is managed by the Wakefield Music Collective and is the base for the annual Clarence Music Festival. [Read more…] about Music
The pet cemetery in Thornes Park lies to the left of the path going behind the Aviary. This was where the Gaskell family laid their family pets to rest in the grounds of Thornes House. The largest of the headstones is engraved to “My Mouse” and [Read more…] about Pet Cemetery
The rhubarb sculpture was carved in locally grown oak by Handspring Design of Sheffield to mark the start of the Sustrans cycle route 69 to Horbury Junction, which opened in 2005. The second photo shows the rhubarb sculptures at the junction of Southfield Lane and Daw Lane on the Horbury bypass.
In 1934, the Rose Garden was created in the walled garden that had been the former kitchen garden of Thornes House. Since then it has become a major attraction of the Park’s gardens with fragrant beds and climbing roses. The fountain in the garden was restored in 1998.
In the 1990s, when the Rockery at Holmfield House was demolished before the extension to the hotel, the pinnacle and the Doric pillar were removed to the garden of the Art Gallery on Wentworth Terrace. It is thought that the pinnacle came from Wakefield Cathedral. The Doric column was part of the 170 Market Cross that stood in Cross Square. When the cross was sold in 1866, the other pillars went to Clarke Hall and Alverthorpe Hall. The pinnacle and the column were placed in the Secret Garden in 2012. The Secret Garden was originally part of the nursery training area for gardeners and was restored and opened in June 2012. It is cared for by enthusiastic volunteers from the Friends of CHaT Parks.
In Thornes Park, next to the Athletics Centre is a gravity build concrete skatepark which features rail, driveway, jumpbox, roll-in, bank and bowl.
Source: Experience Wakefield http://www.experiencewakefield.co.uk/
The Thornes Park gate lodge was built in 1842 and was lived in by estate workers. In Victorian times the lodge had a small square garden beside it which was divided neatly up by diagonal paths. It is now home to the Stork Lodge Café. There were originally two metal storks on the gateposts at the park entrance by the lodge. These are from the crest of the Gaskell family who lived in Thornes House. The storks now flank the entrance to the Rose Garden and were recast from the originals in 1999.
Groundwork Wakefield, in partnership with the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Bretton and Newhaven units and Thornes Park Nursery, provides a range of supported services to service users with mental health and learning disability conditions. The activities take place on Groundwork’s own site at Fieldhead, Wakefield, and at Thornes Park Nursery.
Thornes Park Nursery allows service users to utilise a valuable community resource in the local Wakefield area and [Read more…] about Thornes Park Nursery
The walled garden in Thornes Park now contains the Flower Garden by the Gardener’s House, the Rose Garden and the Conservatory. It was originally the kitchen garden for Thornes House. Exotic fruits such as peaches, nectarines, pineapples and grapes were grown in a number of greenhouses and figs, pears and Morello cherries grew out of doors. [Read more…] about Walled Garden