The History of the Park Hotel
An indenture was signed between Edward Wright, Joseph Edmunds and John Watkinson in 1843 purchasing the land on which The Park Hotel stands.
But, due to a series of argument and disputes as to what should be built there, it took until 1850 and building commenced on what was to be a hotel and the Pavilion in 1851. The project was complicated and suffered countless set backs and was finally completed and opened in 1865. Further complication in the running of the establishment resulted in the partnership breakdown and the property sold.
William Robson of Preston and a printer James Walton took out a mortgage on the property for £12,000 in 1875, and the Hotel and Pavilion had new owners. In 1876 a child died in the hotel causing friction between the owners and as a result the doors were closed. However it didn’t take long before a new purchaser was found and indenture was agreed between Edward Wright, Joseph Edmunds and John Watkinson. Plans were made and William Braithwaite of Blackpool was commissioned to repair the buildings leading to a reopening at the end of 1878.
Due to undisclosed financial problems it was re-mortgaged in 1885 by Samuel & Edward Watkinson and John Charles Zimmermann for £16000, this resulted in the Morecambe Summer Gardens Company being formed. In 1889 the shareholders took out a substantial amount of money out of the business totally £53,000 and this resulted in the folding of the company and closure of the Gardens. Samuel Watkinson only repurchased the deeds for £10,000 in 1889. The history of the property has been plagued with problems and due to a new financial crisis within the business, he subsequently re-mortgaged the land twice in October 1893 for £9710 on the 17th and £8000 on the 18th. But, the cash did not help the business, it seemed that it was used to feed a gambling habit. The business went from bad to worse and due to a fire in which a family died that same fall, he became bankrupt and was forced to close and sell at the end of 1893.
A rich Manchester industrialist named Edmund Parks (who suffered with ill health) came to the area on the advice of a doctor. He purchases the land and buildings (that need substantial renovation for £11500. Being an astute businessman, he sold off the land, demolishing the pavilion and using the stone to restore the hotel, which he finally named ‘The Park Hotel’.
He also built the coach house and stables, which later became 93 Regent Road or more commonly know as Regent Park Studios.
The Park Hotel doors opened its doors on what became the Regent Park Estate in 1895. There are many rumours about deaths of builders and hotel workers, and speculation about Parks involvement in the occult was rife. Strangely enough in 1897 Parks disappeared, never to be seen again.
The building fell quiet for a couple of years, being purchased in 1899 by Thomas Baxter and John and Robert Fisher on 15th May 1899 for the sum of £14,000. Further misfortune beset The Park Hotel and due to bad publicity from a series of deaths the property was once again closed and repossessed by the Lancaster Bank in 1905.
Since 1905 the hotel has changed hands through several breweries from Tetleys - 1905 to Ind Coope -1970 and Allied Breweries - 1982. Through this time The Park Hotel has endured good and bad times, mishaps and mismanagement, problems and deaths. It has been closed for extended periods on and presently; the Park Hotel has been closed for 7 years and derelict for 3 years.
Thanks to Martin Shenton, Emer-Jay Van-Gills and Regent Park Studios, the doors are once again opened so that you can discover more about the place, it's past and it’s hauntings.