May photo walk: Vernon Park & Woodbank Memorial Park

Last Friday, I had some free time to visit Vernon Park just outside the town centre of. My first place to photograph was the hall inside the park.

Vernon Park hall

Vernon park was opened in 1858 and is the oldest park in Stockport. The hall which was restored recently as 2017 has some ornate brick work and decorative façades.

My walk took me around the rear of the hall where I spotted a pair of replica Russian canons. The original cannons were captured from the battle of Sevastopol. They were donated by the War Office. However, the originals where unfortunately scrapped for the war effort back in the 1940’s.

Rhododendron’s in Vernon Park

Beyond the hall are the gardens with the bandstand. This is not the original bandstand from 1888, but a reconstruction build in 2000. The gardens are large and well maintained. I particularly liked the Rhododendrons and the sunken garden next to the hall. To the left hand side of the hall is the bowling green where a path led me down to the rest of the gardens and took me to the furthest edges of the estate.

In the middle of the gardens, is a lovely ornamental Victorian statue in black with gold leaf.

Woodbank Memorial Park

On my return to the car park, I decided to go and explore Woodbank Memorial park which is nearby and seek out and find the hall which I have never visited before. As you enter the park, there is a stone arch way which is in need of some restoration. As I walked down the path towards the hall, I spotted a tree sculpture which honoured the animals who were in service during the world wars. The sculpture has not weathered well to the elements and looks as though it to needs some work to restore it. As I continued my walk, I passed what looked like a music festival which was being held in the park, I finally spotted Woodbank hall in the distance.

Woodbank hall

According to records, the hall was built between 1812-14. From the outside, the hall looks ok, but closer inspection you realise the building needs restoring back to it’s former glory. The building looks abandoned at the moment with no current use as far as I could make out, which is a pity as it would make an excellent arts venue.

To sum up my thoughts of visiting the two parks, these two places are a real treasure to the folks of Stockport and I would certainly return again. I now have plenty of photographs as inspiration for some new prints.