Sights of the past at Lancaster hall and park
Local historian Andrew Reilly takes a look at the history of Springfield Hall and park in Lancaster.
Springfield Hall and Park were behind the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and over the years have been taken up by the expanding grounds of the hospital.
Springfield Hall was built in 1792 for James Hargreaves.
It was left to his son Henry Hargreaves whose sister Mary married Richard Godson.
Mary and Richard lived in Springfield Hall until 1855 and it was then sold to Julia Ripley who had been left a wealthy woman after her husband’s death.
Her husband had told her he wanted to endow a school for orphans, so plans went ahead for the land of Springfield Hall to be used for the building of Ripley hospital (now Ripley School).
Julia lived in Springfield Hall to oversee the building work and Ripley hospital was opened in 1864.
When Julia died in 1881 Springfield Hall was sold as part of her estate to enable the Royal Lancaster Infirmary to be extended and the hall was used for some time as the night nurses home.
Springfield Park became the venue for Lancaster events including the Floral, Musical and Athletic Festival and during the Second World War, a Lancaster Bomber was displayed there, which I visited.
Eventually the building extensions for the RLI were built on this land.
*Next week Andrew takes a look at the Lancaster historical pageant which took place in 1913 in Springfield Park.