© Parkgate Society 2019
About Parkgate > Parkgate Heritage Trail > Donkey Stand
The Donkey Stand
We were no different back then.
In this Edwardian picture of the Donkey Stand people are sitting on benches, enjoying the fresh sea air, and in the background you can see a bicycle propped up against the wall. Much like today!
There are several boats visible on the sands, while the only traffic on The Parade is a single horse and carriage. Unlike today!
Why an official donkey stand?
On the shore side of the Parade is a small paved area known as the Donkey Stand. When the public holiday was introduced in 1871, the owners of the donkeys used for carting the shellfish catch, with an eye to making a bit of extra money, re-employed them on this day to give rides to children between here and the South Slip – hence the name.
Today there is seating here and a variety of interpretation boards. At times of the highest tides the RSPB man an information centre here for those who come to spot the birdlife, which is so abundant on these occasions.
This projection in the sea wall was constructed as a deviation from the original line, because at the time when the wall was built there was a building already standing here on the shore. It is said to have been the original Parkgate customs house; it later became Parkgate’s first Assembly Room and, finally, sea-water baths (hot & cold), before demolition in about 1840.
High Tide at the Red Lion
In this picture you can see The Parade completely awash with the high tide having overlapped the sea wall close to the Donkey Stand.
In the foreground the waves are crossing the road and lapping around the entrance to the Red Lion.
A pedestrian has chosen not to walk on the outer side of The Parade in an attempt to keep his feet dry!
Last Updated February 2019