Philips Park was purchased in 1799 by Robert Philips, a wealthy Manchester merchant, the Park remaining in the ownership of the Philips family until 1948, at which point it was sold to Whitefield Council. During this period, the Park's current landscape was developed, consisting of a formally laid out core, grading to informal ancient woodland on the boundaries of the estate. Within this landscape was a patchwork of farmland, managed by an estate farm, which now forms the basis of the Countryside Centre. The construction of the M62 caused the park to be divided and the farming activities to be severely reduced. Today the Park is a mosaic of woodland, farmland and abandoned wild flower rich grassland, well loved by local walkers and naturalists.