Stoke Park, Guildford
|Stoke Park and Gardens|
Showjumping at the Surrey County Show on Stoke Park
|Owned by||Guildford Borough Council|
|Administered by||Parks and Countryside Service|
|Awards||Green Flag award|
|Public transit access||London Road (Guildford) railway station|
Stoke Park is a large park on the edge of the town centre of Guildford, Surrey, England bought by the local council from Lord Onslow in 1925 to prevent future building work and "remain for all time a lung of the town", Between London Road and Parkway, two of the four arterial roads to the A3(M), Stoke Park is largest park within the town signed area of Guildford. It is also a Green Flag award winning park. The park and its woodland have remained more or less intact since they were laid out in the 18th-century. Then, there was the manor house which owned slightly more land remaining from the manor of Stoke-next-Guildford, complete with walled garden and icehouse.
To the west of the park is Guildford College. The other side of the college, away from the park, is St John's Church. To the south of the park is Guildford Community Church, Guildford High School and London Road (Guildford) railway station. Surrounding the park to the south and east is the A3100 road. This meets the A25 road, which runs along the north side of the park, in the northeast corner close to the Guildfordian Bisons RFC pitches. To the north of the A25 road is the Guildford Spectrum with which the park shares its facilities with.
Stoke was originally a parish south of the River Wey. In 1894, it became part of Guildford, when the parish of Stoke was split into two, Stoke-within-Guildford and Stoke-next-Guildford. Before 1762, the site of Stoke Park was called the Paddocks, it was owned by a Mr Dyson who laid out its dimensions. In 1780, it was purchased by a Mr Aldesey. He bought it along with Stoke Mills. The road, that became the A320, over Wood Bridge was diverted in 1780 to the west end of St. John's Church in Stoke away from Stoke Park. It runs north to south, to the west of the Ornamental Gardens and the Model Boating Lake in the park. In 1879. Samuel Budgett bought 100 acres of the estate, along with the mansion for £35,000, from Lord Onslow.
It was home for many years to the Old Guilfordians RFC before their merger with Guildford and Godalming RFC to form Guildford Rugby Club in 2003. Following this, the junior rugby section of the club stayed at Stoke Park under the name of Guildfordians Rugby. They were joined in 2002, by disaffected Old Guildfordians, who had gone to Guildford and Godalming, thus forming Stoke Park Bisons RFC. At the beginning of the 2008–09 Season the RFU allowed the club to become named Guildfordian Bisons RFC, thus forming a link between both the senior and junior sides.
The Guildford Crows Aussie Rules FC train at Stoke Park during the summer.
Stoke Park contains sports pitches, tennis courts, woodland areas, formal gardens, climbing frames, a water cascade, crazy golf course, children's play area with slides, a paddling and model boating pool, skateboarding ramps and large other expanses of grass. It is opposite the Guildford Spectrum leisure complex, which has many sports facilities, including, a running track, a swimming pool, bowling alleys and ice rink, the Guildford Spectrum is home to the Guildford Flames ice hockey team.
Stoke Park is also home to the annual Surrey County Show held during the second bank holiday weekend in May and a number of other events throughout the year such as the Race for Life and the Surrey County Agricultural Show.
Stoke Park was the site of the annual music festival GuilFest, and it holds the annual Guildford Lions Firework Fiesta on 5 November every year. The event includes many fairground attractions and food stands, and is sponsored by local radio station 96.4 The Eagle. The event starts with a torch lit procession from Guildford High Street and ends with a 20-minute firework finale.
- Park and Leisure Services from Guildford Borough Council retrieved 10 April 2014
- Stoke Park Management Plan 2009-2014 from Guildford Borough Council retrieved 10 April 2014
- Guildford- A Residential Centre. The official Guide of the Corporation of Guildford. 11th Ed. 1946
- Stoke Park at Visit Surrey accessed 10 March 2013
- A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3 ed. H. E. Malden (1911) from British History Online retrieved 10 April 2014
- "Samuel Budgett". The Cornishman (55). 31 July 1879. p. 8.
- "Guildford Parkrun". Parkrun information. Prkrun Guildford. Retrieved 15 April 2015.