The name “Mesnes”, pronounced mains, comes from a shortened form of “Demesnes”, which means “A piece of land attached to a manor and retained by the owner for their own use”. Mesnes Park opened in 1927. The paddling pool shown in the picture is actually the course of a stream, which emerges in Naylor’s Wood. The paddling pool was shallow, but was still difficult to keep safe and was eventually removed. The stream is now culverted underground.
The Mesnes was acquired by the Newton Urban District Council to use as a public park. It opened to the public in 1927. In common with most public parks it was initially set out as formal gardens.
The park has been extended twice, to the west in 1995, and to take in the playing fields of the former St. Aeldred’s school in 2012. Most of the woodland was planted in the early 1990s as part of the Mersey Forest.
The Mesnes has long been a venue for sports in Newton-le-Willows. Horse Racing was held from 1816 to 1825, Cricket from 1847 to 1858, and Football between 1885 and 1911. Crowds of 8,000 people attended some of the Football matches and a stand was built to accommodate them. The Bowling Greens were laid in 1932. The current ranger’s building was a replacement for the pavilion shown in the picture.
Mesnes Park has always beenvery popular with families. This 1950s photograph shows a family enjoying the formally laid out gardens.
Today’s park offers something for all ages with Bowling, Tennis, Basketball, Skateboarding, Children’s Play Area, Adult Exercise Gym, Picnic Areas, Bandstand, as well as lovely walks through woodland, wetland and a meadow.
Mesnes Park is also the home of the Newton Town Show, and was frequently awarded the prestigious green flag award.