History of Rickerby Park.

Rickerby Park Rifle Volunteers, c1861
Rickerby Rifle Volunteers drilling in Rickerby Park in 1861.  In the distance are the two bridges crossing the Eden, the larger being Priestbeck Bridge.  On the skyline are St Michael's Church, Carlisle Castle and the Cathedral.
On making his fortune in the City of London, William Richardson purchased certain parcels of land to enlarge his estate at Rickerby between the 1780's and 1807.

On Richardson's death, the estate passed to the Graham family who founded Carlisle New Bank in the City in 1804.  The Bank ran into financial difficulties in 1824 and was wound up by 1827. 

In 1834 the Grahams sold Rickerby Estate to George Head Head (not a typing error).  George was the son of J.M. Head who started a bank from his grocers shop in Botchergate. 

George took over the reigns of J.M. Head & Co Private Bankers from his father and went on to build Carlisle's first purpose built bank in Court Square, Carlisle.  This was later demolished when J.M.Head & Co was amalgamated with the Cumberland Union Bank and a new building constructed in 1865. 

When George Head died in 1876, the estate passed to Miles MacInnes (1830 - 1909) who was a director of the London and North Western Railway and M.P. for Hexham, and held Rickerby until his death.  In 1914 the estate was broken up and sold off up by the trustees of the MacInnes estate.

Aerial view of Rickerby Park c1945In 1920 the Citizens League purchased the area we now today as Rickerby Park for £11,500.   The Citizens League was founded in the first week of the Great War (1914-1918) by the Acting Mayor, Sir Benjamin Scott, and had many ex-servicemen amongst its membership.  The Citizen's League dedicated its time to helping other ex-servicemen, and founded the Lonsdale Battalion which looked after soldiers and sailors passing through Carlisle during the war years. 

In a joint scheme with the Corporation (City Council), Rickerby Park was dedicated as a memorial to the fallen of the Great War of 1914-1918, the suspension bridge from St Aidans Road was erected along with the memorial cenotaph.  On the 25th May 1922 Rickerby Park was formally opened and handed over to the City of Carlisle for the benefit of the public.

In 1991 the Cumberland Agricultural Society moved its annual show from Bitts Park, up-river the larger Rickerby Park. 


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