Avenham & Miller Parks

Avenham & Miller Parks

Avenham Park near Walton le Dale

Avenham Park is a public park in Avenham, which is near to the centre of the City of Preston in Lancashire. Preston is situated in Lancashire in the north west of England.

The park is located in the City of Preston’s Conservation area and is adjecent to the banks of the River Ribble. It was designed and built during the nineteenth century in around 1860.

Avenham Park is an English Heritage Grade II listed park. The park features a number of historical structures such as The Belvedere, The Swiss Chalet, The Boer War Memorial and Riverside Walk. The park is one of two city centre Victorian parks in Preston, the other being its neighbour – Miller Park. The two parks are separated by the East Lancashire Railway embankment and access is through the Ivy Bridge and along Riverside Walk. The East Lancashire Railway line closed in the 1970s although the viaduct across the river, which is a Grade II listed building, remains.

The park was designed by Edward Milner as a “harmonious whole” including the adjacent Miller Park. The park includes long open lawn areas and hosts a number of annual events throughout the year. Most notable among its many features is the Japanese garden or Rock Garden, which was added in the 1930s when this type of design became fasionable.

Avenham Park is currently managed by Preston City Council.

Avenham and Miller Parks near Walton le Dale

Avenham Park and Miller Park lie side by side on the north bank of the River Ribble, immediately south of Preston City Centre, and are among the finest examples of traditional Victorian parkland in the north west of England. Linked through ornate railway arches both parks were designed and created by the renowned landscape architect Edward Milner during the 1860’s and are Grade II listed on the English Heritage Register of Historic Gardens. At this time the American civil war was raging and cotton towns in the Northwest, including Preston, were experiencing a cotton famine. The parks were built as public works to keep cotton workers employed and prevent the social and economic problems associated with high unemployment.

Avenham Park is created from a natural amphitheatre and contains Avenham Walk (begun in 1697), the Belvedere and Swiss Chalet, which are listed buildings, and the Boer War Memorial. Later additions to the design of the park include the Rock Garden (also known as the Japanese Garden), which was constructed in the 1930’s.

Rock Garden, also known as the Japanese Garden - Circa 1930

Miller Park is more formal in appearance and contains Derby Walk, an Italianate Terrace and a listed fountain together with the Derby Memorial Statue and is renowned for its summer bedding displays.

Miller Park - more formal in appearance

Avenham Park

Avenham Park

Avenham Park

Avenham and Miller Parks are included as part of the Preston Guild Wheel Cycle Route