Endcliffe Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
One of the many woodland pathways in 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 midway 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.

Facilities and events[edit]

The park has a playground which was revamped in 2008 which has many attractions for children. The park also includes a parkour training facility which was built in 2014, funded by the Sheffield Parkour Movement group. There is also an outdoor gym area which includes pull up bars and self-weighted machines. All these facilities are currently free to use. There is also a family-friendly cafe which is open daily, serving a wide range of food and drinks. There are also toilet facilities and a small children's amusement area next to the cafe.

The park often hosts many events in the summer, such as circuses, musical events and a fair; including the Easter duck race event. The Sheffield Hallam Parkrun takes place weekly.

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 feral pigeons. The first pond, situated to the West of the park has an island. There is no access to the island. Like all the ponds along the Porter Valley, the ponds in the park are old mill ponds and retain their races that once drove a water wheel. In Endcliffe Park these have been semi-blocked to achieve an attractive waterfall effect. Endcliffe Park and many of the other parks and public spaces along the Porter Brook, are a re-claimed, pre-steam-age industrial landscape.

These days the ponds act as wildlife refuges, especially the island in the larger pond, with Mallards, Moorhen and Coots resident, joined by a flock of Black-headed gulls each winter. The ponds also enjoy frequent visits from Grey Herons and Kingfishers throughout the year. The Porter Brook itself supports many more species, including the territories of Dippers in its higher reaches. Grey Wagtails frequently feed on insects just above the brook all along its length and are usually first glimpsed as a flash of bright canary yellow when strolling along those paths of Endcliffe Park that follow the course of the Brook.

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