The Olde England Kiosk, Sunnyhurst Woods, Darwen. BB3 0LA

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Venue

Originally built as a Tearoom the Olde England Kiosk is a medium sized hall located in the heart of Sunnyhurst woods. The hall was built in a Tudor style and its double height beamed room is full of olde world charm. Visitors may park in front of the Kiosk itself or across the bridge in the clearing.

History

Sunnyhurst Wood, a wooded valley with a brook running through it, was purchased by Darwen Corporation in the early C20 for the creation of a public park to commemorate the Coronation of Edward VII in 1902. Funds were raised by public subscription, through the efforts of Alderman John Tomlinson, Mayor of Darwen (1900-1902) amounting to £2600. Work on the park began in 1902 and involved the construction of a number of paths, additional planting and minor works to the stream. The opening ceremony took place on 2 July 1903 performed by Mrs Shorrock, the Mayoress. Within a few months of opening, improvements were being made and benefactors were providing further amenities at their own expense; these included a fishpond, a shallow lake for paddling and toy boat sailing, an aviary and a sundial. 

The Kiosk or Tea House was constructed in 1911-12 by public subscription to mark the accession and coronation of King George V. It was designed by the Borough Surveyor R W Smith Saville and opened on 15 May 1912 by the Mayor, Mr John Pickup. Originally it had been intended to use the existing row of four whitewashed cottages which had stood on the site adjacent to Woodman’s Cottage (Grade II) as a tea room but this plan was eventually rejected in favour of the construction of a completely new building in the ‘old mansion’ style. The stream outside the kiosk was widened and deepened at the same time, to make a more ‘ornamental’ waterway, described in the 1920s as a ‘moat’ with a stone bridge at each end (Grade II) and a weir to create a low waterfall.