Endcliffe Park

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The woods of Endcliffe Park

Endcliffe Park is a large park in the city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The park was opened in 1887 to commemorate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Endcliffe Park comprises parkland as well as woodland. The portion along Rustlings Road is grassy and used as a recreation whilst the Northern border, separated from the recreation grounds by the Porter Brook, is woodland, and is traversed by many paths.

The entrance to the park was a toll bar on the Hathersage Road. Next to the entrance is a Grade II listed pavilion.

To the left of the park's entrance is the Hallamshire Tennis & Squash Club.

Monuments[edit]

Erected by Citizens of Sheffield in honour of a Great Queen MDCCCCIV.

The park features two monuments dedicated to Queen Victoria. Near the entrance is a statue of Queen Victoria and mid-way up the path towards Whiteley Woods is an obelisk also in honour of Queen Victoria. Both originally stood at the top of Fargate in Sheffield city centre. A tree planted by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield to commemorate Queen Victoria's Jubilee stands near her statue.

There is also a memorial stone marking the crash site of the USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress "Mi Amigo". On 22 February 1944 the aircraft was returning, heavily damaged by defending Me-109 fighters, from a bombing mission over Aalborg, Denmark. Around 5pm it crashed in the park with the loss of all 10 crew. An annual memorial service organised by the Royal Air Forces Association is held at the site on the Sunday closest to 22 February.[1]

The full story of the brave crew of the 'Mi-Amigo' is told in a book published in June 2014 on Amazon Kindle by local military historian Paul Allonby, called Courage Above the Clouds. This book uses military documents from the USA, Denmark and Germany to piece together the mission, and the fateful combat with the Me109s of 11/JG11 who were among the Luftwaffe fighters vectored to take on the 64-strong diversionary formation of B17s, whose mission was to draw fighters away from a larger US 8th Air Force bomber stream heading towards targets in Germany.

The pilot of the 'Mi-Amigo', from the 364th Bomber Squadron, based at Chelveston, Northamptonshire, was Lt John Kriegshauser who received a posthumous US Distinguished Flying Cross for his courage in sacrificing the crew rather than hit children playing in the park.

When viewed from Rustlings Road/Ecclesall Road the crash site can still be seen, marked by a noticeable drop in the height of the trees on the hillside behind the cafe. This was because a dozen trees were uprooted, or needed felling, due to the devastating impact of the crash. A grove of American oaks was planted in 1969 as replacement trees to honour the crew. Access to the memorial site is via a path signposted Woodland Walk, or across the stepping stones next to the cafe.

As well as several monuments a new playground was added in the park in 2008 with many attractions for children. The park often hosts circuses and other events in the summer. There is also a cafe. Severe damage was caused in 2012 when a visiting circus churned up the grassed area off Rustlings Road due to bad weather. Much of the area still turns muddy underfoot two years later when there is heavy rain.

The second, and larger, pond.

Ponds[edit]

The Porter Brook, although flowing freely between the many old trees of the park, is dammed and forms two ponds, home of ducks and pigeons. The first pond, situated to the West of the park has an island. There is no access to the island.

The second pond is larger and the Southern side of the pond is walled with a path on top, the pond's wildlife use it as a resting place.

Special designations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mi Amigo: the Fate of a Flying Fortress". h2g2. 13 January 2006. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°22′08″N 1°30′25″W / 53.369°N 1.507°W / 53.369; -1.507