Devonshire Road Rock Gardens was first opened to the public way back in 1925. It’s an area of green with beautiful views and attractive features. Come and take a look!
As the name suggests, the gardens is just off Devonshire Road, use postcode FY3 8AA. It’s also at the side of Warbreck Water Tower – aim for that very visible landmark and you’re very near!
A lot of people have precious memories of the gardens. Did you visit with your family? Or were you one of the many happy couples who married there in the past? It’s a unique place, well loved and looked after by the community.
The Gardens were originally created as a public park for residents of new housing in the area. It was also in a perfect spot to take advantage of rolling views across to the Trough of Bowland.
Beryl Hill is the site of the gardens. It’s believed to be the site of a cairn and beacon, used to warn of Napoleonic invasion many years ago. The view from the top of the gardens is stunning on a clear day. From here you can see over to the Bowland Fells and Pendle Hill.
Vista Buildings at Devonshire Road Rock Gardens
The real gem in the park though is The Vista, a small Italian style rustic pavilion with a terrace. It overlooks the hills to the east, below which pools and waterfalls follow the fall of the hill. Between the 1930’s and 80’s it was the site for thousands of wedding pictures.
Sadly, after many years of vandalism, the Vista had become a partly overgrown, roofless ruin. The Friends of the Gardens started to raise funds to restore it in 2012. By 2013 they’d raised enough through events, generous contributions from Ward Funding and other sources, for work to begin.
A year later and the roofs were back on. Vandal proof doors and windows installed, and the terrace repaired. The Friends now had a place out of the rain for storage and brewing up, whilst looking at the incredible view!
Major Revamp for the Vista Building
In 2021, the Vista building had a £60,000 major makeover to create indoor space for volunteers and park activities.
The previously open, central section has been enclosed and made into a meeting area. The right hand building has been converted into a kitchen and toilet. Volunteers now have somewhere to meet and facilities to use.
The conversion has been paid for with £25,000 of previously awarded grant funding and £5000 of money raised in fundraising. Blackpool Council made up the balance of £30,000 from the property services department.
Friends of Devonshire Rock Gardens
Like many parks, it fell into disrepair over the years of the twentieth century. But in 2006 a £20,000 Heritage Lottery Fund helped to bring it back to life.
The Friends of Devonshire Road Rock Gardens has worked hard to raise the profile of the park. Over the last 15 years or so they’ve secured funding from a variety of sources for some very welcome improvements. For example the new paths, laid in 2007.
Friends of the Devonshire Road Rock Gardens won the Open Spaces Award at the Blackpool Civic Trust Awards Dinner in 2015. The award was for the work they did in repairing and renovating the Vista building at the gardens. The award recognised the small but dedicated Friends Group, working hard to restore one of the most romantic landscapes in Blackpool.
Then in 2019, members of Blackpool Civic Trust helped to uncover some more of the rockwork.
A Spring Walk in the Rock Gardens
Devonshire Road Rock Gardens stands at the side of Norbreck Water Tower. Thousands of motorists travelling along Devonshire Road pass it every day. Most probably don’t even notice the gates.
With a few minutes to spare on a bright spring morning in March, we went for a look at the gardens. And what a lovely spot it is!
Right in the centre of an urban area, it’s an oasis of nature and countryside. Well maintained, it’s a credit to the Friends Group and Blackpool Council.
In a past life I lived inland, in easy walking distance of a park, open fields, woods, and a nature reserve. All of which I often visited, like many people who also had dogs to walk. In my new coastal home, my leisure time is spent by the sea, with its wide skies and miles of open sandy beach.
So what a lovely treat to spend a short time in a proper park which so reminds me of the park in my old hometown. To listen to the birds singing their joyous spring song, see the bulbs flowering and the buds emerging on the trees. Watch the wood pigeons pottering about looking for old twigs to build new nests.
If you need a bit of a breather and fancy a bit of peace and quiet, park your car and go for a walk in the Rock Gardens.
While you’re here…
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