Ashton Memorial, Lancaster

High on a hill, overlooking the City of Lancaster is the Ashton Memorial.

The Ashton Memorial was commissioned by Lord Ashton as a tribute to his late wif

The Ashton Memorial was commissioned by Lord Ashton as a tribute to his late wife

Built in memory of Lord Ashton‘s second wife, Jessie,  the memorial is a grand gesture to the town where Lord Ashton grew up and made a large part  of his wealth.

Jessie Ashton died in 1904.

Standing around 35m (150ft) tall, the white Portland Stone structure, with copper clad dome, contrasts sharply with nearby woodland.

Ashton Memorial design

The Ashton Memorial was designed by Sir John Belcher and his partner John James Joass.

It officially opened on 24 October 1909 and is the centre piece to the 54 acres that make up Williamson Park.

Created from a disused quarry, Williamson Park provided work for many local residents who had lost their jobs due to the cotton famine caused by the American Civil War.

In 1877 the grounds of the park were laid out by Mr John Maclean of Castle Donington.

Looking up towards the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster

Looking up towards the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster

The area called Fenham Carr was originally part of Lancaster Moor Hospital Estate, and was added to Williamson Park during the 1990s.

One of the other features of the park is the large lake, complete with fountain.

Bridge, fountain and palm house

A wooden bridge originally provided a crossing point however, this was replaced later with an impressive stone structure.

During 1999, a programme of works funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, refurbished the lake, fountains and nearby waterfall.

Next to the Ashton Memorial is the Edwardian Palm House.

This now serves as a tropical Butterfly House, where exotic species flutter amongst lush foliage in the warm, humid atmosphere of a tropical forest.

Further Ashton Memorial information

The haunted Landscape of the Ashton Memorial

Williamson Park is open daily April to September 10-4pm and October to March 11 to 4pm Monday-Friday and 10 to 4pm at weekends.

Williamson Park gallery

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