WALK – PEEL PARK – SALFORD.
Easily accessible by bus from Manchester or train to Salford Crescent train station on the edge of the student campus and the park itself, the park is a relatively small park of tremendous beauty, with the campus on one side and the Irwell River valley to the other.
Lush, green, and open ground, marred only by an unnecessary children’s swing park at its midst. The park, one of Greater Manchester’s first, having opened in 1846, was used as a location in the film of Hobson’s Choice, starring Charles Laughton and John Mills.
A highlight is the flood monument – a monolithic granite obelisk marker indicating the river’s height of eight foot six from the statue’s base to way above anyone’s heads. The flood occurred in 1867 and claimed three lives.
Peel Hall museum & Art Gallery is well worth a visit, and though its L S Lowry collection has now been moved to the purpose built Lowry Centre, the museum still has many fine artefacts and paintings – the real highlight however is the reconstructed Victorian street in the basement display area, with a very Dickensian feel to it.
Outside the hallstand statues to Victoria and Albert, built to commemorate a visit she made to the region early in her reign. Robert Peel, after who the park is named, also has a statue in the grounds of the Hall.
WALKING FROM THE PARK
I would have liked to follow the Irwell back to Manchester though the path disappears in lower Broughton, Salford.
Instead I retraced my way to the Park, and walked down the main Manchester Road & Trinity Way routes, noting a mixture of magnificent architecture and urban decay, with number of burnt out and closed down pubs and a beautiful hospital building, (Salford Royal), a war memorial to the heroes of the 1899-1902 Boar Wars, Salford’s old town hall, now the magistrate’s courts, Sacred Trinity Church, and the terrific Cathedral, reminding you that Salford is a city in its own right and not just a district of Manchester.
I later rejoined the Irwell and stayed on the waterside paths until they again ran out, close to Victoria Bridge. There are great views of Manchester’s city skyline to be seen here.
For more of my walks see WALKS
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