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Haslam Park history

The history of Haslam Park history begins as open pastureland, donated to the Borough by Mary Haslam in 1910. Mary commissioned the park's design and construction in memory of her father, John Haslam, who was the owner of a cotton mill on Parker Street. Mary's main ambition for the park was to ensure that ample space was made for the children and to this end she donated additional money for the development of the park. From this generous donation landscape designer (or garden architect as he preferred) Thomas H Mawson was contacted. From his designs the park was finished and opened in 1912.

Prior to Mawson's design, the wrought iron entrance gates were created in 1910 (restored in 1999 with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund). Mawson's design features include an avenue of lime trees, an ornamental drinking fountain, and a lake and cascade from the Lancaster Canal. Also included in the original design was an arboretum and grass lands to encourage wildlife and flowers.

In 1915 Mawson amended his plans to include swimming baths but, due to the lack of funds and WWI, the plans were shelved. The baths were constructed in 1932 when Mr J Ward donated money for the baths and an aviary. Sadly both of these features no longer exist, with the baths closing in 1987 and subsequently demolished.

One of the newer features on the park is the fine tree sculpture by Iain Cant who, together with students of Tulketh High School and members of Intag, sculpted this from a dead Beech tree. This feature was commissioned by the Art in the Park project in 2002 and is popular with local residents and park users. A bench sculpted in the same manner accompanies the tree and was completed in 2003.

*Images from Preston Digital Archive.

Haslam Park tennis courts 1950s.
Old photograph of Haslam gates in Preston, 1910.
1958 outdoor swimming baths in Haslam Park.

Map address for Haslam Park

Haslam Park, Bristow Avenue, Preston, PR2 1JE.