Lister Park and Cartwright Hall

Lake in Lister Park

Lister Park Bradford is on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England, and contains six listed buildings, including the opulent Cartwright Memorial Hall. The ‘Green Flag’ park has recently been renovated around the boating lake and botanic gardens with £3.2m help from the National Lottery. The priorities were set by a Lister Park user group who were keen to see the park return to its former glory. This picture was taken mid week when there was lots of people and activity and it looks like a great success has been made of the renovations.

The Mughal Garden are a key element of phase two of the development works developed on the site of a former car park. Looking like a series of geometric ponds there are fountains,topiary and seating places in a very none traditional Bradford style.

Mughal Gardens 2


Lister Park is named after Samuel Cunliffe Lister 1st Baron of Masham, 1815-1906 was an industrialist and inventor. He designed a nip comb and silk loom for producing velvet which was produced in his Manningham Mills in Bradford (notable for its tall chimney). Lister endowed the current museum in Cartwright Hall with many artifacts and had it named after Edmund Cartwright the prolific inventor of the power loom and a wool combing machine in 1789 .

Cartwright Hall Facts & Figures

  • 117 competition entries were used to select the design in 1899
  • The hall weighs about 50,000 tons and the walls vary up to 7feet 9 inchesthick
  • It took 4 year to build but no serious accidents occurred (health ans safety take note)
  • Modern ideas on fire proofing were incorporated with all steel covered in a composition material
  • The site is 50 yards long and 30 yards wide
  • The drawings for the building were created in full size needing 600 sheets of paper.
  • Most of the stone came from Idle moor
  • The original cost was £40,000 but the eventual cost exceeded £70,000

Lister Park Facts and Facilities

  • The boating lake has been refurbished much to the delight of the resident birds who have there own islands with access ladders. Visiting geese and a myriad of seagulls filled the water and kept the pigeons at bay. The little cafe was closed.
  • The Bandstand was built in 1908 and still hosts concerts which in the past have included Coldstream guards and Mexican bands.
  • Adventure play areas were enhanced since the redevelopment in 2002. Dogs and unaccompanied adults are discouraged.
  • The Norman Arch from 1883 has given the corner entrance area its name. As you enter through one of the 3 arches you see a statue of Sir Titus Salt the former philanthropic Saltaire mill owner.
  • Botanic gardens sedimentary rock garden with a fossilised tree and a sensory garden are worth returning too when the weather improves. February was a bit cold.
  • Sporting facilities of bowls and tennis are loosing out to random football kick abouts but still survive.
  • All this plus the open spaces the Victorians devoted to the mill workers and visitors over a century ago.

Photo credits
Mughal Gardens 2 by Tim Green aka atoach
Lake in Lister Park by Tim Green aka atoach, CC BY 2.0

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