Wicksteed Park

Heritage

Here at Wicksteed we are proud of our heritage and every day we aim to continue the legacy left behind by Charles Wicksteed to allow kids to continue playing and exploring in his park.

A Short History

Wicksteed Park opened in 1921, making it the oldest theme park on UK mainland. Its founder, Charles Wicksteed purchased the land in 1913. His initial goal was to create a model village for the local community, however following World War One and housing reforms, Charles looked to develop a park for people to spend their leisure time. He set up a charitable trust in 1916 and went on to build a number of prefabricated houses – some of which still exist and are within the park grounds.

The large lake, a significant feature of the park, was dug by hand and steam ploughs in 1916-17. The railway, a favourite with visitors, was opened in 1931.

As an inventor and engineer Charles designed and built play equipment, often using bits and pieces from his engineering business, and creating swings and slides to thrill young and old alike. This business grew, eventually exporting play equipment to over 80 countries around the world.

Wicksteed Park is much more than an amusement park and continues to attract thousands of visitors each year to play and explore in its beautiful grounds.

Charles Wicksteed and Jerry the dog

I believe we should let children be children

Contribute

If you would like to get involved or share your pictures and memories of the park please contact:

Tracey Clarke

Community Link Manager

Who looks after our archive

Get in touch

Digital Archive

As part of our activities we are building an archive of photos, plans and memorabilia which over coming years is being digitised for our online heritage archive. We hope to update this on a regular basis and welcome volunteers from all backgrounds and ages to join us in helping present our heritage.

 

Conservation

Illustration of people walking around the Wicksteed Park lakes

You can view the Wicksteed Park ‘Conservation Management Plan’ by viewing or downloading the following PDF document.

Download

Memorial Donations

Illustration of people walking around the Wicksteed Park lakes

Commemorate a special someone in the park. Your donation will lead to one of three memorial types which in turn will be placed in a designated area of the park.

Download

Find out more

Illustration of people walking around the Wicksteed Park lakes

For further information regarding the Wicksteed Charitable Trust please contact:

Mr Oliver Wicksteed, Chairman, The Wicksteed Charitable Trust, Wicksteed Park, Barton Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire NN15 6NJ.