A postcard of Hednesford Park c1931. As you can see, the scene is little changed today.
Image courtesy of Ray Smith
Looking across Hednesford Park towards Hednesford Hills. The road near the centre of the image,
winding into the distance, is now known as Valley Road. Once the site of a colliery, today it is a
mainly residential area and the location of the Museum of Cannock Chase.
Image courtesy of the Museum of Cannock Chase
The whole of Hednesford Park was once Hednesford
Pool, a large body of water that covered 27 acres of land.
The 1834 edition of White’s History Gazetteer & Directory
of Staffordshire tells us that the pool abounded in pike,
perch and roach.
In 1874 a coal mine was opened on the opposite side of
the road in a valley behind Cockpit Hill on Hednesford Hills
(a few hundred metres away). It became known as the
Valley Pit but was originally called the Pool Pit because
the pool still remained. However, in order to prevent the
mine flooding, the colliery company diverted the brook
that fed the pool. As a result the pool began to dry up and
by 1900 it had dried up completely.
Some years later, in 1931, Hednesford Park was opened.
It was handed over to the local Council by Cannock Chase
Miners’ Welfare Committee. Funds for the park had been
raised over a number of years by placing a levy of one
penny per ton on all coal produced by local mines. By
1930 some £15,000 had been collected. During the
opening ceremony, Colonel Williamson, chairman of the
committee, declared that he ‘hoped the ground would be
appreciated and be a big success and a blessing to the
people of Hednesford’.
The new park had two bowling greens, eight tennis courts,
putting greens, a cricket pitch and a pavilion with changing
facilities. Although the putting greens and cricket pitch
have now gone and the original pavilion has since been replaced, the park remains largely unchanged.
The information about the park has been provided
courtesy of Anthony Hunt.
Hednesford War Memorial
Hednesford war memorial stands on the opposite side of the road (the Rugeley
Road), on the edge of Hednesford Hills. It was erected to pay tribute to local people who gave their lives during the Great War.
At a committee meeting on 31 May 1920, three suggestions for ways of commemorating the war dead were made. A monument on Hednesford Hills
was proposed, as was a public hall, and lastly, conversion of this site into a lake or park with an adjoining monument.
The war memorial site as it looked c1932.
Image courtesy of the War Memorial Preservation Society.