A Visit to Allesley Park, Coventry
Ann Evans continues to explore Coventry’s parks. This week we visit Allesley Park.
While many of us are not venturing much further than our own doorsteps at the moment, I’m enjoying exploring what Coventry has to offer in the way of local parkland. The city which is due to become City of Culture 2021 may have a City Centre that has seen many changes over recent years, with high rise student accommodation flats being erected, nevertheless it is still rich in open parkland for everyone to enjoy.
Allesley Park is also the name for the nearby residential suburbs Allesley and Allesley Village, located about 2.75 miles northwest of the city centre. The park is actually tucked away off the main Allesley Old Road, with a long driveway that takes you away from the hubbub of the busy roads and nearby A45 to a haven of tranquillity with picturesque landscapes of unspoilt green space and majestic trees.
It’s an ideal place for all members of the family, young or old, as the 52 acres of rolling meadows and country walks have tarmacked footpaths all along the way, making it accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs, joggers and dog walkers, and those out for a leisurely stroll.
For the children there is ample room for them to run and play and interact with nature. Additionally, there’s sprawling playgrounds with fun activities for kids of all ages to enjoy including a zip-wire and crazy golf. Plenty of space too if the weather is nice enough to have a picnic.
With a large free carpark, good toilet facilities it’s not surprising that the park has been awarded a Green Flag Award. This is a nationally recognised award given to parks that, when assessed, meet or exceed some eight criteria set by the Awards Body.
History of Allesley Park
The district of Allesley and the park go way back in time. It seems there was a Motte and Bailey castle in the grounds of what is now Allesley Hall that dates back to the Norman Conquest. In the 13th century, the park – five times the size it is now, was a deer park laid out by Henry de Hastings. Later it was used as a gentleman’s farm with more than 400 acres and owned by the church.
In 1660, a manor house was built which was replaced in 1912 by the Georgian mansion we see today. This in turn found use as a boys’ boarding school. The mansion which stands close to the entrance of the park was rebuilt by Lord Iliffe, proprietor of the city’s newspaper, The Coventry Evening Telegraph (now the Coventry Telegraph) and other journals. In 1937 he gifted it and the surrounding parkland to the City Council.
If you’re heading to Allesley Park yourself, the address is: Allesley Park, Allesley Hall Drive, Coventry CV5 9AD