The rock in Jubilee Park park is metamorphicThis would mean it had originated somewherethat mounting buliding process had carried on - probably Cumbrian. It had definitely been transported by a glacier as it bears striation marks (on the side facing the main road) - they're the horizontal scratches. The Middleton Guardian 27 jun 1891 says it was Mrs Lees of Alkrington Hall who donated the actual rock. Middleton Guardian 13 Aug 1892 says it was James Lees of Alkrington who donated the brass Plaque which was on the rock.Middleton guardian 2 dec 1882 "The late Mr A.J. Lees was buried in Gibraltar
JUBILEE PARK, MIDDLETON Long Street, Middleton. Tel: 01706 656300 This delightful park is located in the town's historic conservation area between the Library and St Leonard's Church with elegant bandstand and scented rose beds. Band concerts during the summer. A STROLL THROUGH JUBILEE PARK... 'Who works not for his fellows Starves his soul. His thoughts grow poor and dwindle And his heart grudges each beat, as misers do a dole.' This inscription is to be found at the top of the Exedra to Jubilee Park, Middleton where a flight of steps leads to a contemplative sitting area. Presented by Alderman T B Wood (Mayor of Middleton 1890-1892) and designed by his son, the famous architect Edgar Wood, the Exedra was carefully sited to overlook the Park and visually link the Park and St Leonard's, Middleton Parish Church. The Exedra and its inscription typify the sense of public spiritedness and concern for its people which originally led the Borough Council of Middleton to purchase land for the construction of the public park. With the creation of the Borough in 1886 the Council wished to demonstrate its enhanced status by improving the amenities of Middleton. In 1887, in order to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, the Corporation purchased a plot of land of approximately 4.7 hectares (11.6 acres) on the slopes below the Parish Church of St Leonard's and opposite Ye Olde Boar's Head Inn for 'a recreation ground and the erection of a free public library'. Jubilee Park was officially opened on 6th July 1889 - the public library had opened some four months earlier. Today Jubilee Park remains a small but distinctive Victorian town centre park at the centre of a fascinating conservation area alongside St Leonard's Church, which is believed to have been built upon the site of an Anglo Saxon Church, and is of medieval origin.The Church is a fine Grade I Listed Building with distinctive building periods dating from 1120 and 1412, but substantially from 1524 when the original structure was radically extended by Sir Richard Assheton, the then Lord of the Manor. The Church contains an early 16th Century stained glass window commemorating the safe return of a body of archers from Middleton who, under the command of Sir Richard, were instrumental in securing a victory for the English King at the Battle of Flodden Field. The wooden steeple, built in 1667 on top of the stone tower, is deemed to be one of the only three remaining in this country. To the south of St Leonard's Church, and separated from it by St Leonard's Street, a steeply rising and largely disused cobbled road to the southern entrance of the Church, is Middleton Old Burial Ground. Formerly walled to contain the town rabbit warren, the now largely disused burial ground contains the grave of Samuel Bamford (1788-1872), a local hand-loom weaver who became a prominent radical and a leading figure in the movement for the reform of Parliament. It was Bamford who led the Middleton contingent to the infamous Peterloo Massacre in nearby Manchester in 1819. A Memorial to Samuel Bamford was erected by public subscription in 1877, in an area of the burial grounds which overlooks the town. Bamford's grave lies within a square area at the highest part of the burial ground. From here there are splendid views of the southern façade of the Church - the main entrance was originally on this side - and panoramic views over the town and the surrounding area.