The park was laid out in 1930 on land sold to Kirkby in Ashfield District Council by a Miss Catherine Hodgkinson of Kirkby House. The land was to be used and maintained as a public playing field for the community. Prior to this the site was used as grazing land for horses and was known locally as ‘16 Acre Field.’ The Acre - the street at the southern end of the park takes its name from this and the park is often referred to locally as ‘the Acre’.
Poplars were an important landscape feature, lining the drive from the main entrance on the east side of the park, the western perimeter with the LMS railway line (many survive to this day), and to the north as far as the Hodgkinson Road entrance. A mixed row of oak and ash and other native trees bordered the remainder of the northern perimeter. Ornamental trees formed avenues within the park. As part of the original layout there were eight tennis courts, two large bowling greens, putting greens, areas for netball and hockey, two football fields, a kick about area and a large aviary.
The main important remaining heritage features are the main shared vehicular and pedestrian access gates and archway on Hodgkinson Road, the smaller shared vehicular and pedestrian access gates and archway and the two sets of pedestrian access gates and archways on Kingsway.