The park yester year

Whittleford Park has been through a full circle to reach where it is today. Once rich countryside housing farm and pastureland the site has undergone many changes before it came back to its original purpose – green, open space.

The site has an important industrial heritage, originally as a coal mining area and then as a brick and tile works. Shallow coal seams beneath the area were exploited as far back as the 14th century, and shafts were sunk on the site during the latter half of the 19th century. The pit closed in 1945 just after the 2nd World War although the North East Warwickshire Water Board later used some of the old shafts to draw off water.

In 1870 the Haunchwood Brick and Tile Works was formed by Mr. James Knox and others. The business produced a wide variety of ceramic products as well as blue bricks which were renowned for their quality and widely used both throughout Britain and abroad. The clay used for making the bricks was extracted from the Clay Pool area from around 1894, creating a deep pit which later flooded.

The brick and tile manufacture ended in 1970 and the chimneys, kilns and other buildings were demolished the following year. The land then became derelict until the mid-1980’s when it had the benefit of a Derelict Land Reclamation Scheme, funded by the Department of the Environment. Through this scheme the abandoned mine shafts were capped and much of the debris was cleared from the site. Since then the area has become naturally colonised with vegetation, creating a park with a variety of wildlife habitats.