John Kaye JP was the unofficial ‘king’ of Clayton West. He built the house known as the Park around 1830, extending it in 1835. He gave land and money for the School in the 1870s and in 1875 provided a site for the Church. Originally this was to be built on Bilham Road, but Kaye thought the congregation passing his house and gardens would disturb his lifestyle, so an alternative site was found on Church Lane.

A Park for the People of Clayton West

John Kaye’s grandson, John Kaye Bradbury turned 25 in 1896 and inherited the greater part of the village of Clayton West from his grandfather including the 'pleasantly situated residence with its extensive park-like grounds'. In celebration he threw a huge garden party for his tenants and neighbours. There were marquees and merry-go-rounds, side-shows and Punch and Judy, and extensive feasting and dancing late into the night.

A hundred years later his descendents, Tim and Robin Bradbury, gave the land to the villagers as a permanent public open space. In a replica celebration for the Millennium there was an escapologist, a karate demonstration, brass bands, and once again, a Punch and Judy show.

The gift of the land unlocked a range of funding which enabled the village to take on the ownership of the park. The Millennium Greens Initiative, with funding from the National Lottery, provided a grant equal to the value of the land and this allowed local volunteers to embark on a plan to improve and develop the parkland for the future. The Bradbury brothers asked that the Green be called after John Kaye. Click for more info.

View the photo archive