maps of Northwood Park
over Northwood Park
Although not opened until 1907 there were discussion about a park
in Northwood as early as 1890 (long before Hanley park opened in 1894).
There were two sites proposed - one on the edge of the built up
area of Northwood, a field called Udall's field and a smaller area more in the
centre of Northwood called Hall Field.
|[in 1890] a
resolution was passed that "This meeting of ratepayers of the
East Ward respectfully requests the Town Council to purchase 20
acres of land lying at the back of Hammersley-street, Oak-street,
and Prime-street, Northwood, which forms the south part of The
Birches Farm, for the provision of a public park, to be dealt with
and laid out at the same time as the proposed Shelton park".
This land was known as Udall's Fields.
However, there were two sites suggested as being suitable for
Northwood's park, the other being (the Old) Hall Fields.
the East Ward Parks Committee by G.P. Bradford (its Chairman)
[statement] was accompanied by the statement that it was nonsense to
suggest that the Hallfields location was "the only possible
site". It was declared that .......
"the disparity in the price of the respective sites is so
great as to call for the special attention of every ratepayer. To
buy 20 ACRES IN UDALL'S FIELDS, AND LAY IT OUT, WOULD COST £4,600;
WHILE 10 ACRES IN HALLFIELDS, AND LAYING OUT, WILL COST £7,000.
This shews that the first cost of the small site will be NEARLY
TWICE as much as the larger one, in addition to the extra cost of
The economic argument, here, was supported by the environmental
consideration that Udall's Fields incorporated a 600 yards long wood
teeming with pretty wild flowers and a running stream which might be
turned to the advantage of park users. "Now compare this with
with Hallfields! Smoke everywhere, pit mounds, the exhalations from
the town's refuse, no trees, no stream....."
Advocates of the Hall Fields site,
overlooking Bucknall Old Road, argued that the adjacent part of
Northwood had so rapidly been developed for housing that Hall
Fields, as a still-available open area, was desperately needed as a
park by the surrounding residents -before it, too, came to be
covered by properties, creating......
"an unbroken block of houses
nearly two miles in extent reaching from the boundaries of
Northwood to Shelton".
Those inhabitants living near Udall's
Fields, it was pointed out, already had open country on their
doorstep, and were therefore less in need of a "lung".
from: 'Potters in
Parks' - Mervyn Edwards
Staffordshire Advertiser, 29 November 1890
In the end it was the Hall Field site that won the day.........
map c.1890 of the Northwood
The red line is Keelings Lane. In blue is the 20
acre Udall's field and in pink is the 8 acre Hall field site. The location of
the Hallfield Brick Works is marked in green.
The same area on Google Maps
Even today the area of Udall's Field has proven to
be unsuitable for building on - it is partly allotments and the main part is
still uncultivated fields.