The park was once part of the Leicester Forest (mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1089) and was an important game preserve where the Earls of Leicester and their descendants hunted. An Oak tree still remains from this period and is affectionately known as ‘Old Major’.
The Forest was an essential source of wood for all inhabitants of Leicester. The timber was used to build their houses and business premises as well as being an important fuel supply. Wood taken from the frith, which included within its boundaries Western Park was taxed.
By the beginning of the 19th Century Leicester Corporation purchased the land for £30,000, to create a park for the people of the West End. The land was purchased from the trustees of Sir John Mellor one of the most important landowners in New Parks and Westcotes.
Points of interest
A Roman Road from Mancetter to Leicester is thought to cross the park.
The park has an elevation of more than 100 feet above the street level of Leicester’s Clock Tower.
In 1849 a railway line which cut through Brick Kiln Meadow was opened. This linked the Midland Mainland and the Leicester and Swannington line.
Nearby, stand old worked out quarries that had once provided much of the sand stone used in construction of many of Leicester’s churches.