Avenham & Miller Parks History • Preston Guild City
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Preston Guild City

Avenham & Miller Parks History

Miller Park, Preston, Lancashire

A ‘harmonious whole’ was the aim of landscape architect Edward Milner when he designed and created the adjoining Avenham and Miller Parks during the 1860s and this was certainly achieved with the parks linked by ornate railway arches.

Work on the parks took place during a period in which the American civil war had a devastating effect on the region’s cotton towns and brought about famine. The park was built by cotton workers employed to help prevent social and economic problems during this period.

Avenham Park was created from a natural amphitheatre with Avenham Walk (begun in 1697), the listed Belvedere and Swiss Chalet, and the Boer War Memorial providing key elements of the parks’ character. Later additions included the Japanese influenced Rock Garden in the 1930s.

Miller Park, more formal in appearance of the two parks, offers numerous historic points of interest, including Derby Walk, the Italianate Terrace, the listed fountain and the Derby Memorial Statue, commemorating past Preston MP and Prime Minister, Frederick Stanley, the 16th Earl of Derby.

The parks which have recently undergone significant restoration, lie side by side on the north bank of the River Ribble and are among the finest examples of traditional Victorian parkland in the Lancashire and the north west.

Image: Miller Park circa 1930s