Carlisle Park, Morpeth
also known as: Morpeth Park, Paddling pool, Park, Turner Garden, William Turner Garden.
On this page you will find information about Carlisle Park, Morpeth
Carlisle Park is a multi award winning park in
the heart of Morpeth, Northumberland. Situated on the south bank of
the River Wansbeck, it contains The
William Turner Garden, formal gardens, an aviary, play areas, a
paddling pool, ancient woodland, picnic areas, toilets, tennis
courts, bowling greens, a skate park, and much more.
Carlisle Park is owned by Northumberland
County Council and managed by them in partnership with Morpeth Town
Council and Leisure Connections.
Click here to
download the Carlisle Park Leaflet.
Carlisle Park Office
Off Castle Square
Telephone: 01670 623509
Get involved at Carlisle Park
If you would like to get involved at Carlisle Park why not come
to the next user forum meeting? They are held quarterly at
the bowling pavilion, click here to email and
join our mailing list for the user forum dates and other park
Contact us for more information or to enquire about volunteer
opportunities on 01670 623509, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Carlisle Park is open all
year round and free - there are no admission charges.
- The William Turner Garden is
open 8am till 8pm Monday - Thursday, 8am-6pm Friday - Sunday,
or 8am - dusk, whichever is earlier.
- The Toilets are open daily
10am till 6pm from 1st April until 31st
October, closed during the winter season.
- The Paddling Pool is open
daily from the second bank holiday in May until the end of the
school summer holidays in September.
- The Bowling Pavilion is open
daily from April until September.
- The Tennis Courts are
available to hire all year round.
Enquiries and Information
For play areas, paddling pool, skate park or toilets contact
Morpeth Town Council by telephone 01670 514314 or
for contact details.
For bowling greens, tennis, the putting
green and associated clubs contact Leisure Connections
by telephone on 01670 514665.
For all other enquiries contact Northumberland
County Council by email or on 01670
Getting Here and Local Facilities
Morpeth bus station and train station are both
within 15 minutes walk of Carlisle Park, and some bus services stop
outside the formal gardens at Castle Square.
Metered car parking is available throughout
Morpeth, There is no parking in Carlisle Park. However, a drop off
point can be arranged for visitors with special needs, contact the
Park Office on 01670 623509 or email email@example.com
for more information.
Postcode NE61 1YD and grid reference NZ1985
bring you to the formal gardens.
Morpeth is a vibrant town with a good range of
shops, coffee shops and cafes, restaurants and pubs. For more
information about Morpeth, including places to stay, please contact
Morpeth Tourist information on 01670 535200.
Click here to
download the Access Statement for Carlisle Park and The William
A Brief History
The Countess of Carlisle donated the land on
which Carlisle Park sits to the town of Morpeth in 1916 and the
park was opened on 11th September 1929 by the six year
old Earl of Carlisle. The Park has become a treasured
possession of the people of Morpeth and draws visitors from miles
However, the site of Carlisle Park has been an
important location for Morpeth for much longer. The park
contains the remains of Morpeth Castle, originally built in the
13th and 14th centuries, and an
11th century motte and bailey, both defended the town
against invasions from the north, and are now scheduled ancient
The formal gardens, lodge house, park cottage
and landscaping were created in time for the 1929 opening of the
park. The garden designs were done then, and always have been
done, by the park gardeners.
The bowling greens and tennis courts were
opened in 1926, with the pavilion built in 1951. The paddling
pool opened in 1955 and remains one of the most popular features of
the park, along with the aviary which can be found in the formal
Carlisle Park received £2.1 million from the
Heritage Lottery Fund in 1999, and work began on revitalising this
much loved area. Paths, woodlands and play areas, were
improved, the bandstand was built and the William Turner Garden was
Park progress never stops, and now the
Carlisle Park User Forum and Volunteers and Morpeth Bowling Club
work with Northumberland County Council, MorpethTown Council and
Leisure Connections to keep improving the park for all
Carlisle Park has successfully achieved the
Green Flag Award in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
and 2013. The park regularly wins gold medals in
Northumbria in Bloom and was a key part of the town's Britain in
Bloom success in 2013.
Features within the Park
The Formal Gardens
A mixture of lawns, annual bedding and
herbaceous borders, with specimen trees such as monkey puzzle,
gingko biloba and maples provide a beautifully colourful place to
relax and enjoy the view. A small aviary houses budgies and
cockatiels and other birds that have been rehomed by people who no
longer want them as pets is located in the formal gardens.
An 11th century motte and bailey
that towers to the west of the formal gardens. It originally
had a wooden tower at the top and was built to defend Morpeth from
invasions from the north, as at that time the whole town lay to the
south of the river and the park. It’s a great place to get a
view of the William Turner Garden and Morpeth, especially in the
winter when the trees are bare. There are steps to the top of
Ha’ Hill from the Postern Woods and from behind the sports
Ha' Hill is home to a small flock of rare breed Shetland sheep
who are helping us to manage the hill as the
steep, grassy mound it was intended to be. The sheep
graze the mound and save us the job of trying to control the
vegetation by mechanical means. Please don't feed the sheep
as we need them to eat the vegatation and if you're taking dogs on
to the hill please keep them under control.
Built in the 13th and
14th Centuries the castle replaced the tower on Ha’ Hill
with a much more solid stone building. Following the siege of
1641 and centuries of neglect, all that remains is the Gatehouse
and a very small section of castle wall. The Gatehouse, which
was a council house for a short time, was taken over and restored
by the Landmark Trust in the 1990s and is now a very popular
Play Areas and Paddling Pool
Carlisle Park contains one of the few
remaining working paddling pools in the north east and it proves to
extremely popular for plodging (Northumbrian for paddling) with
kids of all ages. The play areas by the river contain a range
of equipment suitable for children aged from toddler to 13. A
small toddlers’ only play area is located on the south west border
of the park adjacent to the Bluebell Rise estate. The play
areas and paddling pool are maintained by Morpeth Town Council -
Extremely popular with skaters, bladers and
BMXers, the skate park is between the tennis courts and Ha’ Hill,
with access from the Ha’ Hill side. It is maintained by
Morpeth Town Council - 01670 514314.
Just over the foot bridge from Morpeth’s
Riverside Leisure Centre, the bowling greens and tennis courts
provide a space for formal sports activities. Please contact
Leisure connections for all enquiries on 01670 514665.
William Turner Garden
A charming herb garden and knot garden created
to celebrate the achievements of William Turner the Botanist, who
was born in Morpeth around 1508. Click here to find out more on the William Turner
The best place to spot wildlife in Carlisle
Park, the woodlands stretch from the River Wansbeck, to the Formal
Gardens. A mixture of mature and younger trees, including
oak, beech, ash, sycamore and hazel provide some great habitat in
the centre of the town. If you are lucky you might see fox,
roe deer, rabbits or grey wagtails. Listen out for great spotted
woodpecker, chiff chaff, robins and many other birds. Visit in
spring for bluebells, wild garlic wood anemones and wood
sorrel. Please let us know if you see a squirrel - red or
Use these links to visit the webpages of other organisations
involved in the management of Carlisle Park.
Carlisle Park Management Plan