Dixon Park

Dixon Park is located close to Larne Town Centre, behind Larne Library at the bottom of Ronald Street. It’s a lovely place to enjoy a walk or a picnic, with a bandstand, information boards, a beautiful new community centre, a lovely sensory garden and a play park for the children.

Location: Edward Avenue, Larne, BT40 1PU

Dixon Park is located close to Larne Town Centre, behind Larne Library at the bottom of Ronald Street. It’s a lovely place to enjoy a walk or a picnic, with a bandstand, information boards, a beautiful new community centre, a lovely sensory garden and a play park for the children.

The Community centre is only open at specific booked times, toilets are available in Larne Town behind Murrayfield Shopping Centre. Parking is also best in Larne Town as the streets surrounding are residential.

The two hectare site for Dixon Park, near the centre of Larne, was generously provided by the Right Hon. Sir Thomas Dixon, Bart., H.M.L. and Lady Dixon, D.B.E., J.P. It was officially opened on Tuesday 9th April 1935 by Lady Dixon, who expressed the hope “that the open gates might symbolise the gates of happiness to the children of the district and to the older folk, too.” At the request of Lady Dixon, schoolchildren from the District were given a half-day holiday so that they could attend the event.

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon were met at the park by members of the Urban Council including the Chairman, Mr W B Legg, J.P. The Boys’ Brigade, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides provided a guard of honour at the entrance to the park, where James Ferris presented a gold key to Lady Dixon on behalf of the contractors, James Ferris Ltd.

The park was ‘tastefully laid out with flower beds and shrubberies’ and included ‘a well-equipped playground’. The bandstand was added later, being completed by the end of July that year. The concrete base was made by James Ferris and Sons Ltd, with the cast iron stand being made by W H Kane & Co at the Larne Foundry.

In the 1970s, Enterprise Ulster created a kick-about area and a new playground.

In 2009, Larne Borough Council, in partnership with the Dixon Park Residents Association, and with support from Heritage Lottery Fund, began a substantial refurbishment. This included an improved drainage system, new paths, benches, railings, gates and new planting. The playground equipment was also renewed, the bandstand repaired and new lighting added. A new building was also constructed, to include an office, storage space, public toilets and an education room.

Dixon Park was officially re-opened, following the restoration project, on 9th April 2010, 75 years after it first opened. Sir Thomas Dixon’s great-grand-nephew, Lord Glentoran, attended the event where everyone was entertained by 1930s style brass band music and performances by Larne Drama Circle.

The revitalisation of the park and the community involvement in it, was recognised by the award of the prestigious Green Flag in 2013.

Photo by: Ian McIlroy

Gallery

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