|HCC Site ID:||1287||Parish:||Aldershot Park Ward, Aldershot|
|Access:||Public Access||Ownership:||Rushmoor Borough Council|
Location and Site
Manor Park is located south of the High Street (A323) near Aldershot town centre.
The park is located close to what was the medieval hamlet of Aldershot, with church and village green. The Manor House and Stables (Grade II listed), now used as offices, was built in 1670, by Sir Walter Tichborne. It is an impressive red-bricked three-storey house and was home to the Tichborne family, owners of the Manor of Aldershot for 200 years. It was later home to three generations of the Newcombe family. Captain Newcombe RN sold the site to Aldershot Urban District Council in 1919. Running across the park is a long path bordered by mature trees of different species, known as ‘The Major’s Walk’. It was planted by Major Newcombe, one of the last owners of the Manor, with a variety of trees, some of which he brought back from his military service abroad. A partially complete avenue of hornbeams crosses the main open space of the park.
The Heroes’ Shrine
The Heroes’ Shrine memorial is Aldershot’s national memorial to those who lost their lives in World War II and was unveiled by the Duke of Gloucester in 1950. It features a Portland stone statue of Christ stilling the storm, carved from a block rejected by Sir Christopher Wren in the building of St Paul’s Cathedral. It was carved by Josephina de Vasconcellos and designed by Borough Surveyor F.W Taylor.
In front of the statue is a sunken walled rock garden, which contains stones from 18 cities and 34 boroughs blitzed during the war, including Coventry Cathedral and the Tower of London.
Manor Park is a well-maintained park, with a large area of mown grass and individual trees of various ages, with some new tree planting. Throughout the park there are plenty of benches, all-purpose bins and security cameras. Information boards with a map of the park, are located at each entrance. At the lower end of the park adjacent to the High Street is a large pond with well-tended gardens fenced off from the public. There is a safari-themed children’s play area and adult fitness equipment both updated in 2017, with nearby public toilets and baby changing facilities. The tennis courts and a basketball court are by the Church Lane East entrance surrounded by shrub and tree planting. Nearby there are some areas of bedding. The centrally located flood lit, purpose-built skate park was added in 2013. The playing fields have now been converted into a nature reserve, with trees and bushes. A granite plinth commemorates the First World War. The restored Heroes’ Shrine monument to World War II is in the sunken walled-garden.
Summary & Significance
Manor Park is Aldershot’s main park, an exceptionally well maintained attractive thriving park, popular with all ages and members of society. It plays a significance role in the local history and is the main location for major events in central Aldershot, such as the annual fireworks spectacular. The Heroes’ Shrine is important as the concept is probably unique.
Hampshire Gardens Trust research, Manor Park, Aldershot.
Historic England https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1339707
Rushmoor Borough Council, Manor Park and play area, http://www.rushmoor.gov.uk/article/3115/Manor-Park-and-play-area
Click here to visit Aldershot Park web page