The Euston Gardens at the front of the landmark North Euston Hotel are steeped in the history of Fleetwood. It’s the place where growth of the town began.
Visit the Euston Gardens
You’ll find this small park just off the seafront at The Esplanade in the Victorian Quarter of Fleetwood. It’s sandwiched between the historic North Euston Hotel and two of Fleetwood’s three lighthouses.
It’s a very nice spot, and the small park which is the Euston Gardens frames the seafront. There’s sheltered seating, a water fountain and planting that’s attractive all year round.
Euston Gardens is, and always has been, a place where community events take place. It’s still used throughout the year for large and small gatherings, at events including Tram Sunday and many more.
Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood
When the park was first laid out, it was intended that it should include a statue to the town’s founder, Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood. But it never materialised at the time of the parks construction, despite some money being raised.
However, a team of people from Fleetwood Civic Society, Fleetwood Museum and Fleetwood Rotary put that right in 2018. You can read about the Statue of Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood here.
A local convergence point
When the hotel was first built it was a convergence point for Victorian travellers journeying to the Lake District. The railway line ended here and those early tourists caught steamer boats to the Lakes.
It’s still a convergence point for today’s modern methods of transport. There’s a stop and waiting point for the Blackpool to Fleetwood tramway at the side of the Gardens. It’s also a terminus for service buses for your onward journey. Both are operated by Blackpool Transport.
Plus, across the road you can catch the Fleetwood to Knott End Ferry for the short journey across the River Wyre.
Improvements To Euston Gardens
In 2015 works were carried out to improve Euston Gardens and create the attractive gateway to Fleetwood which it is today. It was always well looked after but the improvements certainly made a big difference.
Overgrown shrubs were removed, new paths laid and new planting added for year round colour. Take a look at some of the progress photos taken during the works.
Some building work was carried out, including repairs to the shelters (below). They form part of the boundary to the park, providing a sheltered view over the seafront and Morecambe Bay.
The Grade II listed, cast iron drinking fountain had seen better days after many decades on the seafront. It was originally erected in memory of two fishermen who lost their lives in 1890 trying to save others. It was listed way back in 1978.
The next photo was taken before it was taken away to be renovated and you can see that it needed it!
And look what a difference the restoration made! The next photo was taken in 2018, after it was replaced in its rightful home.
Read more about the drinking fountain here, including where it was made and the history of the piece.
Memorials in Fleetwood Euston Gardens
With such a long heritage, Fleetwood is a town full of memories and landmark events. Some are happy, some are tragic. Many of them are marked with memorials and tributes across the town. Euston Gardens is home to a number of them.
The Obelisk is the most obvious of these memorials. Standing tall at the centre of the park it bears a plaque with the following inscription:
‘Erected by public subscription to the memory of James Abram and George Greenall who lost their lives in the storm of November 1890 whilst heroically endeavouring to save others’.
In front of the Obelisk is a more recent memorial stone with another plaque. This stone also bears tribute to people who lost their lives at sea. It reads:
‘In memory of all those who have lost their lives at sea. Dedicated on 19th May 1985 by Admiral Sir Desmond Cassidi GCB’.
This stone shows the Land and Sea Operations of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company at Fleetwood circa 1875. (Presented to Fleetwood by Fleetwood Civic Society in 1976).
First Train to Fleetwood
In 1987 Fleetwood Civic Society found and recovered the first boundary stone, remembering the first railway journey to the town in 1840.
It’s now on display in Euston Gardens, remembering the beginnings of the town. It also bears an inscription which reads:
‘The Preston and Wyre Railway boundary stone commemorating the first train from Preston to Fleetwood on 15th July 1840. Recovered by Fleetwood Civic Society March 1987′.
These anchors were hauled onto the Jubilee Quay at Fleetwood Dock by James Robertson and Son and date to about 1870. In the 1980’s they were put in Euston Gardens for their preservation.
This photo was taken prior to the renovation of the gardens in 2015.
Did you know that The North Euston Hotel was a School of Musketry from 1861-1867? It was later converted into the Euston Barracks, then used as a hotel from 1898.
Presumably the Canon which is sited in the Euston Gardens is related to that time in its history. Do you know any more?
Maureen Blair got in touch to tell us that it may well have had something to do with the musketry school. But the story she knows is that the Canon in the Gardens is the only remaining one from the Canon salute given when Queen Victoria visited. She thinks the rest were scrapped for the War Effort.
Maureen sent this photo to share, where you can see the canons lined up along the edge of the beach. It dates back to circa 1895.
This photo was also taken prior to the redevelopment of the gardens in 2015.
History of the Euston Gardens
Thanks to local historian Dick Gillingham for adding facts about the history of the Euston Gardens to this piece.
The park features in Decimus Burton’s original plan for the town. You can see it in the original lithographic illustrations in the prospectus to potential investors in the new town of Fleetwood. The prospectus dates way back to 1837.
In the early years of the North Euston Hotel there was a paved walkway from the porticoed entrance of the hotel. The walkway took you through the park to a private jetty on the River Wyre. This old photograph shows the view looking across the front of the Hotel to the Pharos Lighthouse. Euston Gardens is at the left and the obelisk is clearly visible.
Euston Gardens featured heavily in the early big events in the new town of Fleetwood. For example, the early Fleetwood Regatta and various Coronation celebrations.
In the next aerial photo below from October 1933, you can see the curve of the North Euston Hotel clearly. Euston Gardens is just going off the bottom of the picture but you can see the footpath and the obelisk. The football pitch to the rear of the hotel is where the law courts are today. This pitch was once used by Fleetwood Town Football Club.
When you visit Fleetwood Museum you’ll be able to find out much more about the area’s Victorian heritage.
Anything to add?
If you know anything else about Euston Gardens, or have any photos to share, please get in touch. Full credit will be given.
Just email jane@theRabbitPatch.co.uk
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