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Potted History Snapshots of Northcliffe

Here you will find a series of short articles on the history of Northcliffe.

Northcliffe Park 100 years

Northcliffe Park was opened to the public 100 years ago, in 1920

The reason we have the wonderful woods and meadows, the allotments and other spaces is down two factors.

One is that in 1911 the Rosse family, who were major landowners in and around Shipley, hence the name of the Rosse pub in Saltaire, decided to sell up and concentrate on their family lands in Birr, Ireland. The land was divided into development plots for housing and put up for auction. The plots that covered Northcliffe Woods and Northcliffe Park were not sold.


The Post-War Years

Once the war was over, a gala was held in Northcliffe, and slowly the facilities reopened: the tennis courts in 1944, the Tennis Club, bowling green and putting course in 1945. Farming was required to continue for another few years because of the food shortages in the country. By 1946 the Council was looking at what additional facilities to provide in Northcliffe, exploring the idea of a second bowling green on a former grass tennis court, a pavilion for bowlers and a bandstand. The second bowling green was created but none of the other ideas were followed through.

The Miniature Railway in Northcliffe

BMES moved to Northcliffe, onto the site at the entrance to the woods, in 1968 following vandalism at their previous site. They have been a wonderful addition to the park and these days the trains run in holidays and at celebrations.

The Park Opening

In 1918 the Rosse family, who were major landowners in and around Shipley, hence the name of the Rosse pub in Saltaire, decided to sell up and concentrate on their family lands in Birr, Ireland.

The Park Develops

Although the park was officially opened in 1920, there was still a lot of work to do to change it from farming land to a park. The council started to mow the meadow and created the two sets of allotments you can see today. In 1922  the council took over the farmhouse (by the bowling greens in the quarry) and the last farming tenant left. Also that year Northcliffe Golf Club leased the top field on condition they would let the public play on the new course and the links ran all the way down the current meadow to near to the back of the houses on Lynton Drive.