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History

Bright Park was the former residence of Henry Arthur Bright, a shipping magnate, poet, philanthropist and author of ‘A Year in a Lancashire Garden’, a book detailing the many plants and trees that were installed by Mr Bright at the Park.

Prior to Mr Bright’s tenure, there was another house on the site from an earlier period, perhaps late medieval, once lived in by James Clemens, one time Lord Mayor of Liverpool (1776), A sign post erected by Mr Clemens can still be seen outside the park on the corner of Thingwall Avenue.

The park was bequeathed to Liverpool Council by Bright’s family in 1915 so that it should be used for the education of ‘girls of feeble mind’. The house remained as a girls’ institution until the late 1980s when it was closed for the last time.

The park and house languished in dereliction for almost 15 years until local resident and national treasure Ken Dodd campaigned for the house and park to be revived as a national museum of comedy. Mr Dodd even volunteered to contribute his own collection of comedy paraphernalia to the project. Sadly this did not come about as the house was burned down and demolished in 2003.

Once the council discovered that the land could not be built upon for housing, it became a white elephant. In 2008 the council donated the land to the Anfield charity Liverpool Lighthouse.

After a transition period, Liverpool Lighthouse became custodians of the park with plans to return the space to the community with a heritage focus, engendering civic pride in this most beautiful and largely forgotten space.


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History

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