Opened in 1878 by the then High Sheriff of Lancashire, Nathaniel Eckersley of Standish Hall and local mill owner. Mesnes Park has been an oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of Wigan life.
The area Mesnes Park (pronounced Mains) is situated on land once known as the Mesnes. The word Mesnes is a shortened form of the word Demesnes, meaning land retained by a lord of the manor for his own use. Long before the park was built the Mesnes was simply meadow and pasture land and a part of the Wigan Rectory Glebe Estate, the lord of the manor being the Rector himself. By 1847 the Mesnes land had been mined for coal by two collieries, two tramways and a rope walkway were the only easy ways of crossing the pits.
In 1871 the land was bought by the then Wigan Mayor Nathaniel Eckersley for the cost of £2,000 and given to Wigan Corporation for the building of a Grammar School and a public park.
This painting by David Barrow features three young children coming down the double flight of steps after they have visited the Pavilion. Maybe they’ve just enjoyed an ice cream or simply taken in the view of the rest of the park. As they head down the steps perhaps they are going to throw pennies in the fountain or run to rub the foot of Sir Francis Powell for good luck.
Signed by David Barrow