Mesnes Park in Wigan opened in 1878 and was the town’s first municipal park. In recent years the 28 acre park been extensively restored, thanks to a multi-million pound grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
We parked our car on Mesnes Park Terrace at the southern end of the park, close to Wigan town centre. It was a Sunday so parking was free (pay-and-display Monday to Saturday).
Shortly after entering the park we came the Powell Monument, erected in 1910 to honour Conservative politician Sir Francis Sharp Powell. Since the end of the Second Word War, residents of the town have rubbed the foot of the statue to bring them luck. The tradition became so popular that a hole developed in the bronze.
Continuing along the main drive we came across a fantastic fountain. The Coalbrookdale Fountain was included in the original layout of the park but was removed in the 1920s. This replica was installed in 2013 as part of the restoration work.
From here it was just a short walk to the park’s octagonal Pavilion. The two-story listed building currently houses a café. My daughter desperately wanted an ice cream, but as I’d no cash and they didn’t take cards we decided to head for the playgrounds.
There are a handful of play areas at the park, all located on its western side. The first one we came across was an outdoor gym with about five pieces of equipment (leg press, skier, walker etc.). Close by there’s a toddlers’ play area plus a playground for older children.
The Pulham Rock Feature and waterfall lies at the northern end of the lake. It was originally built by James Pulham & Son, landscape designers from Hertfordshire. However, by the start of the First World War had become overgrown. The recent restoration work has seen it restored to its former glory.
In conclusion, Mesnes Park is a decent park with something to offer for all ages. A few areas need working on, but overall the park and recent improvements are impressive.
The location of the park is excellent. Wigan town centre and its shops (Galleries Shopping Centre, Grand Arcade etc.) can be reached on foot in around five minutes. Public transport links (Wigan Bus Station, Wigan North Western Train Station, and Wigan Wallgate Train Station) are also nearby.