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Philips Park

Home to the Philips Family

Philips Park was formerly know as The Park. The Park was a section of the Pilkington township with it's ancient centre at Old Hall in Stand, Whitefield. The Pilkington estate included Pilkington Park, which was a large (560 hectares) Deer Park.The name Stand is itself derived from the place where the Lords would be located as their groundsmen drove the deer past them. The game were kept in The Park by a pale constructed around the permiter. Lengths of the bank which carried the park pale can still be traced in Mere Clough, and the name lives on in "Stone Pale" Whitefield.

What we now know as Philips Park, was first let to a Yeoman from Clifton called Laurence Crompton. The Cromptons later purchased 70 hectares of the land after the township of Pilkington (and the land of Pilkington Park) was split following the English Civil Wars, as a result of it's owners the Stanley family, chosing to fight for the King. The Cromptons developed the land, and at this period it became known as The Park, with an early burial of Thomas Crompton "o'th'Parke" buried at St Mary's in June 1717.

Burial records at St Mary's record James Crompton, gentleman "o'th'Parke, Outwood" died in 1724, his wife Jane died in 1750, and is recorded as a "gentlewoman" living at The Park. The Crompton's had also purchased nearby Prestwich Wood and Thomas of Prestwich Wood died in 1776. Edward Hobson purchased The Park from Thomas's executors in 1781, for £2,150 (£370,000), and it passed through his daughter to the Barron family in 1784. After Mr Barron died in 1798 Robert Philips bought The Park at auction.

Plan of The Park sometime prior to 1833 (the original house is shown over to the west of the stable quadrangle.

Robert was a son of Nathaniel Philips. Nathaniel had taken up residence at "The Dales", Stand, in Whitefield, and along with his brother John, had established the firm of J. and N. Philips, and Co Ltd (of Tean, Staffordshire and Manchester) who were manufacturers of textiles, tapes and smallwares.

William Clegg of the Dales William Clegg, brother of James Clegg of Butt Hill lived at the Dales in 1838

The Dales (Now Stand Golf club)

Manchester became the headquarters of their nationwide merchanting and manufacturing enterprise, and while Nathaniel's younger brother Thomas purchased Sedgley Park Hall (1784), Nathaniel's son, Robert had a new Hall built at The Park, in Pilkington (Whitefield), which the Philips family were to live in until 1948. Robert Philips passed the estate to his son, Robert Needham Philips after his death in 1844, along with £50,000 - worth £3.6m today.

The Will of Robert Philips 1844

The Philips family had numerous servants over the centuries and several are buried in The Churchyard of St Mary's in Prestwich. [ The Philips vault itself is in Stand Unitarian Chapel, Whitefield].

The most noteable of these burials is that of Elizabeth Hayne, Head Housemaid who died aged 87,after 68 years of service and friendship to the family.Her sister E. Smith who also served the family for 30 years.

The grave of the Hayne sisters [NS3]

The grave of 3 more servants [B2]

The Park (1891)

The 1909 grave of a faithful servant of J&N Philips [North]<

The grave of a faithful servant of J&N Philips, William Gregory also lies in St Mary's chruchyard. The "N" in J&N Philips was Nathaniel, the father of Robert Philips of The Park. William was also church organist for 30 years. In 1830 J&N Philips purchased a Mill in Bolton from Robert Chadwick of High Bank.

The Philips's House was situated on the grassy field of today's Philips Park, and it's stable block remains today in a state of decay, after once being used as a Night Club. The Park had notable gardens, a small token of which remains in front of the delapidated Orangery, and the ruins of the Hot House in the Woods to the South.

To the South of the Hot House ruins are the restored foundations of the Southern Lodge. While to the North the original (thatched) Park Lodge has been demolished to make way for the M60 motorway, and a later North Lodge was built from the remains of Outwood Lodge, this was home to Robert Philips Son, Mark.

North Lodge<

South Lodge<

West Lodge (beside Kingfisher Lodge - pond)<

Read More about Philips Park History & Development (Sara Gremson, Ian Pringle and Diana Winterbotham,2006)

History of Philips Park

See an album of photos from The Philips Family (Ian Pringle 2009)

Philips Family History

Read an Archaelogical Evaluation (Oxford Archaeology North & Bury MBC, 2008)

Philips Park Archaeology

A fireplace and sink (2008)

Archaeological dig

Philips Park Tree Trail

Trees of Philips Park

Philips Nature Reserve

Philips Nature Reserve (2006)

Prestwich Forest Park

Forest Park Leaflet

Bike Trails

Bike trails

Low level Trails (Waterdale & Drinkies)

Low Level Bike trails
Warning: some paths are shared walking/biking some are dedicated for biking, bikers:fix a bell & walkers:stick to the appropropriate trail.