The Park History
In 1907 William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 7th Earl Fitzwilliam gave some of his land in Millhouses to the City of Sheffield. The City Council bought more land and laid out a public park. By the 1930s facilities at the park included a boating lake, an open-air swimming pool, paddling pools, a cricket pitch, bowling greens, and tennis courts. By the 1960s the park could attract up to 50,000 visitors on summer weekends.
In the 1980s, the lido (the successor of the open-air swimming pool) was closed, and in the 1990s the paddling pools were also closed due to fears of water pollution in the River Sheaf, which fed the pools.
In 2010, Splash Waterplay was opened, completing the renovation of the old Lido area. This now incorporates a traditional and adventure play area, skate park and Splash area. The old paddling pools were also filled and landscaped to form a 'fish ladder' which allows migratory fish to swim up-stream to spawn. It also creates several rock-pools and planting areas for wildlife to thrive.
Later in 2010, the old park-keeper's hut was taken over by the Park Cafe to provide refreshments to the play area. This also saw the banning of dogs in this area, with the installation of gates and fencing to surround the playgrounds. A sensory garden was established which has now matured to provide an oasis of calm within the park.
In 2011, Cliffhanger was once again held in the park and a new Outdoor Gym was opened next to the skatepark, along with a zipwire in the playground area. The park was also granted the Green Flag award for its excellent facilities, environmental sustainability and horticultural standards.
Plans for 2011/12 include the installation of a children's cycle roadway, the old poplar trees will be removed and replaced by an avenue of mature oak trees and improvements to the old Mill Buildings at the Northern end of the park will also start during 2012 with the intention of providing community facilities and further refreshment area.