TAMH: History

Dundee

Baxter Park: the flax trade's legacy

The first view of Baxter Park is from around 1906 and shows the pavilion which once housed a marble statue of the park's benefactor, Sir David Baxter, of the famous Dundee linen family, who, with his sisters, donated 50,000 for its construction in 1859. The second image is from the early 1930s.

Designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, the park was opened by Lord Russell, the Prime Minister, in 1863. The statue, by Sir John Steel, was paid for by public subscription: 16,371 were moved to contribute. The statue was later moved to the McManus Galleries for safekeeping.

The pavilion was designed by G H Stokes, Paxton's nephew. It has a loggia with four Doric columns and, despite vandalism, may yet be saved by lottery funds. Derelict for many years, and seeking a use, your author was once invited by Tayside Region Industrial Office to build his office within it.

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© Douglas MacKenzie
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