Manor Park was originally part of the Flitwick Manor Estate and was purchased by the Town Council to preserve it for the community.
It’s full of history. In 1632 Edward Blofield purchased the Manor of Flitwick from the Crown and rebuilt the Manor House, now known as Flitwick Manor which is a hotel.
It was in the early 19th century that it came into the hands of John Thomas Brooks who landscaped the grounds around the house, planted trees, introduced deer, and incorporated the surrounding farmland into his vision. The well-maintained gardens with arboretum and deer park surrounded by woodland and parkland, were widely praised in his time.
Sadly, the estate was neglected after John Brooks died in 1858 and a lot of land was sold for housing. But the heart of estate, the glorious Flitwick Manor Park remained for all to enjoy. It is listed Grade II in the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens
The Sweet Chestnut Avenue created by John Brooks in 1831 and Flit Water, created by Henry Dell in the mid-18th century, have already been restored.
Take a walk through the woodland and spot the different carved animals hidden along the way. The magnificent jumping fox sculpture can be spotten from quite a distance.
To the north of Manor Park is the The Mount, originally part of the Flitwick Manor Estate, The Mount was the site of a small short-lived motte-and-bailey castle built by the lord of Flitwick Manor c. AD1100 to control Flitwick and the Flit Valley. The Mount is designated a Scheduled Monument (an historic building or site that is included in the Schedule of Monuments kept by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport).
When John Brooks extended the gardens he included The Mount, building a tunnel under the road for convenient access and constructing a prospect tower on its top as a viewing platform. The Town Council owns and manages this quiet open green space along with Manor Park.
Heritage works at Manor Park to repair and restore the South Gate (on the A5120 opposite Flitvale) and the ornamental bridge in the arboretum were given planning consent in January 2022. The majority of the work will be funded by Central Bedfordshire Council's Green Infrastructure Planning Obligations Funding.
Work is also underway reinstating a footpath alongside the road from the South Gate to the main entrance. Two new bridges are being created and will provide more opportunities to explore the park with the circular walkways. Bedfordshire Parish Paths Partnership (P3) volunteers have been working with our Public Realm Team on this project. We hope the new footpath will be completed by the summer.
Planning further ahead, we have received funding from the Rural Payments Agency and Greensand Country to create a Parkland Management Plan. This will involve looking at several key elements to restore at Manor Park.