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Other Parks

Dublin City is home to a wide number of parks and open spaces that contribute to a high quality of life for people living in and visiting the area. Our parks offer sports facilities in addition to providing recreational spaces for walks and play an important role in the biodiversity of the city.

Belgrave Square

Rathmines,
Dublin 6.

Phone: 01-6684364
Area: Southeast
Category: Southside Neighbourhood parks

Facilities:

  • Band Performances
  • Basketball Court
  • Leisure Walks
  • Playground

Originally a wasteland known as ‘Church Fields’ this residential square was constructed in 1851. The 1 hectare park, situated off Castlewood Avenue between Rathmines and Ranelagh, was privately owned until the mid 1970’s when it was acquired by the Corporation for development as a local park.

Blessington Street Basin

Blessington Street Basin,
Dublin 7.

Phone: 01-6612369
Area: Central
Category: Historic and Heritage Park

Facilities:

  • Band Performances
  • Floral Schemes
  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks
  • Playground
  • public toilets
  • Shelter
  • Wildlife

Measuring 0.75 hectares and located in the heart of Dublin’s north inner city, and within easy walking distance of O’Connell Street, the Basin has a long and varied history.  Construction began around 1803 to provide a reservoir for the city water supply which until then was sourced from Lough Owel in Co. Westmeath. From the date of the completion of the Vartry Reservoir system in the 1860’s Blessington Street Basin’s water was then used exclusively to supply distilleries in Bow Street (Jamesons) and John’s Lane (Powers) and this continued until 1970 and 1976 respectively.

The Basin was completely refurbished in 1993/94 with the help of Fas and financial contributions from the National Heritage Council and ALONE.  Now this quiet haven in a bustling metropolis provides a secret garden for local residents and visitors alike.

Bushy Park

Terenure,
Dublin 6.

Phone: 01-4900320
Area: South Central
Category: Southside Neighbourhood parks

Facilities:

  • Band Performances
  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks
  • Pavillion
  • Playground
  • River/Pool/Sea
  • Shelter
  • Sports Fields
  • Tennis Courts
  • Wildlife

Part of an extensive open space network along the Dodder, Bushy Park extends to 20.5 hectares.  The park originated in 1700 when Arthur Bushe of Dangan, Co. Kilkenny, Secretary to the Revenue Commissioners, built the house known as “Bushes House” on a site of 4 hectares.  A John Hobson became owner in 1772 and changed the name to Bushy Park, possibly after the park in London of that name.  Purchased by Abraham Wilkinson in 1791 who added almost 40 hectares to the estate, he gave it as a dowry to his daughter Maria when she married Robert Shaw in 1796.  George Bernard Shaw was a distant relative, his grandfather being a nephew of Sir Robert Shaw (1st Bart).  The Shaws were connected with Bushy Park for the next 155 years until 1951 when they sold the estate to Dublin Corporation.

In 1953, the Corporation sold 8 hectares to the Sisters of Religious of Christian Education but later re-acquired 2 acres of woodland in 1993.  The park is noted for its woodland walks, ornamental ponds and beautiful Dodder Walk as well as catering for football, tennis boules, and children’s play.  Dublin City’s first public skatepark was opened in 2006 in Bushy Park. It consists of a concrete bowl surrounded with typical street elements. The park is open to skateboarders, in-line skaters and B.M.X. bikes.

Cabbage Garden

Kevin Street,
Dublin 8.

Phone: 01-6612369
Area: Southeast
Category: Local Inner City Parks

Facilities:

  • 5-a-side all weather football pitch
  • Floral Schemes
  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks

Located at the top of Cathedral Lane off Kevin Street on 0.56 hectare, this small park is a redeveloped former cemetery dating from 1663.  During the Cromwellian occupation it is reputed that the occupying soldiers cultivated cabbages on the site, hence its name.  Part of the old cemetery was designated for Huguenot burials from 1681 to 1858.  Many of the Liberties’ merchants and tradesmen were buried in the cemetery which closed to burials in 1878.  The Corporation developed the existing park in 1979/1980 with some redevelopment in 1998.

Clontarf Promenade

Clontarf,
Dublin 3.

Phone: 01-8336262
Area: North Central
Category: Commemorative Park

Facilities:

  • Athletics
  • Floral Schemes
  • Leisure Walks
  • River Pool Sea
  • Shelter

Stretching for about 3 kilometres from Fairview Park to the Bull Wall at Dollymount, the Promenade is 40 metres wide and is about 26.5 hectares in extent.  Reclaimed from the sea in the 1920s and finally completed and landscaped in the late 1950s, this much admired amenity is a popular location for a bracing seaside walk with every possibiltiy in the winter or spring of encountering flocks of grazing Brent geese.  At the Clontarf end of the Promenade, near the Dart line is the Children’s Traffic School, constructed in 1971 and adjoining it is a well used floodlit all-weather facility for athletics and football.  The prominent “Sails” sculpture was added in 1988; the dedicated cycle track in 1997; the memorial seat to Alfie Byrne, former Lord Mayor of Dublin, in 1999; and the ‘Maoi’ Sculpture near Vernon Avenue in 2004.

Croppies Park

Wolfe Tone Quay,
Dublin 8.

Phone: 01-6612369
Area: Central
Category: Historic and Heritage Park

Facilities:

  • Floral Schemes
  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks
  • River/Pool/Sea

Located opposite Frank Sherwin Bridge at Wolfe Tone Quay, this 0.25 hectare park was named in 1983 after the Croppies of the 1798 Rebellion who were executed in the vicinity and at one time was known as the Crimean Trophy Plot because of the presence of Russian artillery guns captured during the 1854-56 Crimean War.  The site was originally part of the Military Recreation Grounds attached to the adjacent Collins (formerly Royal) Barracks.  Acquired by the Wide Streets Commissioners, the area was owned from 1860 until 1969 by the Office of Public Works when it passed to Dublin Corporation who upgraded the prak in 1983.

An ornamental pond and water feature/fountain consisting of sections of Wicklow granite mounted on columns from the former Guinness Mansion at St. Anne’s Park were installed at this time.

Dartmouth Square

Ranelagh,
Dublin 6.

Phone: 01-6684364
Area: Southeast
Category: Suburban Squares and Gardens

Facilities:

  • Floral Schemes
  • Leisure Walks

This 0.8 hectare park in Ranelagh was developed as a public park by the Dublin City Council.  Houses around the Square date from the 1880’s and the design of the park reflects a formal Victorian layout with a central pergola and loggia.

Formal pathways flanked by clipped laurel plantings and flower beds also provide an ideal setting for surrounding houses.

Diamond Park

Gardiner Street
Phone: 01-6612369
Area: Central
Category: Local Inner City Parks

Facilities:

  • 5-a-side all weather football pitch
  • Floral Schemes
  • Leisure Walks
  • Playground

Getting its name from the nearby Gloucester Diamond, this small 0.7 hectare park was developed in 1985/1986 as part of the Corporation Urban Renewal Programme.  The site was formerly occupied by tall palladian-style terraced houses constructed by Luke Gardiner in the late 18th century.  The park was redesigned in 2003 to include a childrens playground and all weather pitch.

Dodder–Dropping Well

Southside
Phone: 01-6684364
Area: Southeast
Category: Linear Parks and River Valleys

Facilities:

  • River Pool Sea
  • Wildlife

The Dodder was one of the major industrial rivers of Ireland for many years and is still dotted with may relic millstreams, weirs, sluices and old factories.  The river corridor supports a rich variety of birds, animals and insects as a special wildlife habitat comprising fast-flowing Areas of water, slow-moving pools, ponds and flooded marshy Area: s around its banks.

The Dodder is seen as the organising element of the recreational open space of Dublin’s southern boundaries extending from the sea to the Dublin mountains where the Dodder rises.  The river connects numerous sports grounds along its length as well as providing fishing to members of the Dodder Angling Association.

In managing the spaces along the river, the objective is to provide access along the river, while safeguarding and enhancing the natural characteristics of the river for recreation and conservation.

Eamonn Ceannt Park

Sundrive Road,
Dublin 12.

Phone: 01-4540799
Area: South Central
Category: Southside Neighbourhood parks

Facilities:

  • Athletics
  • Band Performances
  • Basketball Court
  • Floral Schemes
  • Leisure Walks
  • Pavillion
  • Playground
  • Sports Fields
  • Cycle Track

The park is named after one of the executed leaders of the 1916 Rising.  The park is located between Sundrive Road and Clogher Road.  Extending to 17 hectares (42 acres), the park was developed in the 1960’s and includes an athletic track, veledrome, playing fields, tennis courts and children’s playground.

Eaton Square Park

Rathgar,
Dublin 6.

Phone: 01-6684364
Area: South Central
Category: Southside Neighbourhood parks

Facilities:

  • Leisure Walks

Eaton Square is located in Terenure and is about 0.4 hectares in size.  This small park was in private ownership until the mid 1970’s when it was acquired by the Corporation for development as a public park.

The current layout dates from 197 and while simple in concept, was mainly designed to provide a complementary setting for the surrounding houses. Recent upgrading of the park has included restoration of the railings in 2007.

Ellenfield Park

Whitehall,
Dublin 9.

Phone: 01-8336262/8421182
Area: North Central
Category: Northside Neighbourhood parks

Facilities:

  • Band Performances
  • Floral Schemes
  • Leisure Walks
  • Pavillion
  • Playground
  • Sports Fields
  • Tennis Courts

Located in Whitehall just off the M1 motorway and to the South of Shantalla Road, the park extends to 10 hectares and was developed in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s to satisfy the local demand for playing fields.

Tennis courts, hedges and maturing tree plantations give the park an increasing sense of maturity while still being the main sportsground in the Whitehall Area. Most recently constructed is the childrens’ playground and proposals are currently in place to upgrade the existing tennis courts to provide improved synthetic surface training areas for ballgames and tennis.

Fairview park

Fairview,
Dublin 3.

Phone: 01-8336262
Area: North Central
Category: Northside Neighbourhood parks

Facilities:

  • Athletics
  • Band Performances
  • Floral Schemes
  • Leisure Walks
  • Pavillion
  • Playground
  • River Pool Sea

Situated in the heart of Fairview between the DART line and Tolka, this 20 hectares park is noted for its seasonal bedding displays but also has valuable playing fields, a children’s playground and tree-lined walks.  Originally a tidal mud flat which was used for land fill in the early 1900’s, the park was developed in the late 1920’s with Bye Laws formally adopted by the Corporation in 1934. The park was significantly disrupted by the recent Dublin Port Tunnel works however proposals to (restore and) enhance the disturbed areas will be carried out when tunnel works near full completion.

Across the railway line is the Traffic School and all-weather 400 metre athletic track and five-a-side football pitches.  Across the Fairview Road is Bram Stoker Park at Marino Crescent named in memory of the writer who was born at No. 15 and which was acquired by the Corporation in the mid 1980’s.

Fitzwilliam Square

Fitzwilliam Square,
Dublin 2.

Area: South Central
Category: Georgian and other squares

A small privately-owned Square with access only for adjoining householders, Fitzwilliam Square was developed in the early 19th century when the surrounding Georgian houses were completed.

Of simple design, the park has changed little over the generations but now has many fine mature trees.  The noted Irish naturalist Robert Lloyd Praeger lived at No. 19 on the Square for over 30 years.

Griffith Park

Glasnevin/Drumcondra,
Dublin 9.

Phone: 01-8373290
Area: Central
Category: Northside Neighbourhood parks

Facilities:

  • Band Performances
  • Floral Schemes
  • Leisure Walks
  • Playground
  • River Pool Sea
  • Wildlife

Griffith Park is situated on the Tolka River between Glasnevin and Drumcondra and just downstream from the National Botanic Gardens, the park extends to 7.5 hectares.  The site was originally a landfill until the 1930’s when the eastern end of the park was first developed.  The River was realigned in the late 1930’s with further work providing a paddling pool in the 1950’s.  The last section of the park at the Mobhi Road end was developed in the mid 1950’s and today the park with its fine trees, flower garden, pleasant riverside walks and well-used modern playground (added in the mid-1990’s) is one of the premier north city parks.

Recent improvement works include the new pedestrian bridge completed in 2004 and recontouring of riverside areas to prevent flooding. The children’s playground was upgraded in 2005.

Herbert Park

Ballsbridge,
Dublin 4.

Phone: 01-6684364
Area: Southeast
Category: Southside Neighbourhood parks

Facilities:

  • Band Performances
  • Floral Schemes
  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks
  • Pavillion
  • Playground
  • River Pool Sea
  • Shelter
  • Sports Fields
  • Tennis
  • Wildlife

Herbert Park is named after Sidney Herbert (1810-1861), the father of the Earl of Pembroke who, in 1903, offered the site to Pembroke Urban District Council for development as a public park.  The famous Dublin International Trades Exhibition was held on the site in 1907, housing exhibits from the British Empire (including a complete Somalia village).  Thereafter the lands were developed as a public park.  The existing duck pond was constructed for the exhibition of 1907 to house the ‘Canadian Waterchute’, but little else remains of the original buildings.

Taken over by Dublin Corporation in 1932 the 13 hectares (32 acres), are a fine example of how a relatively small park can provide a variety of amenties such as football, tennis, boules, croquet and children’s play area, while at the same time fulfiling an important conservational role in the heart of the city.Recent developments in 2007 have been the addition of a new childrens playground and an all weather multi use pitch.

Liberty Park

Foley Street
Phone: 01/8300833
Area: Central
Category: Local Inner City Parks

Facilities:

  • 5-a-side all weather football pitch
  • Floral Schemes
  • Leisure Walks

Located at the junction of Corporation Street and Foley Street near Busaras.  This small 1 hectare (2.47 acres) park was constructed as a part of Urban Renewal in 1979.  Sited on what was the notorious “Monto” area, the park has all-weather football and playground facilities.  The local community played a full part in its development and today the park is a model for what can be achieved through the joint efforts of the City Council and local residents.

North Bull Island

North Bull Wall,
Dublin 3.

Phone: 01-8338341/8331859
Area: North Central
Category: Nature Reserves

Facilities:

  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks
  • Public toilets
  • River Pool Sea
  • Shelter
  • Swimming
  • Interpretive Centre Scientific Interest
  • Wildlife

In 1821, the 1 kilometre-long North Bull Wall was constructed and gradually sand accumulated behind the wall leading to the formation of Bull Island which means that it is younger than City Hall.  In the 1880’s the Royal Dublin Golf Club developed a golf links and in 1927 St. Anne’s Golf Course was developed.  In 1955, Dublin Corporation acquired the entire island from the Royal Dublin Golf Club apart from the club itself.  Following the construction of the Causeway Road in 1962/1964 to increase access to the Island, the Corporation granted St. Anne’s Golf Club a lease sufficient to increase this course from 9 to 18 holes.

The island, which reached its current length around 1902, is now 5 kilometres long and 1 kilometre wide at its widest point and is a site of both national and international scientific interest.  It was declared a Bird Sanctuary in the 1930’s, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1981, a Nature Reserve in 1988 and a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.  It also qualifies for designation as a Nature Heritage Area: , Special Protection Area:  and Special area of Conservation and was declared a Special Amenity Area:  in 1994.

The specific areas of ornithological and botanical interest include the sand dune system, the spit head and hook, the aldermash, the mudflats and saltmarsh.  The Island is home at various times to 8,000 wild fowl and 26,000 waders with up to 180 different bird species being recorded.  Over 300 species of plants also have been recorded including some rare and officially protected species.  In addition to its ecological uniqueness the Island with its much loved Dollymount Beach is a marvellous recreational resource valued by generations of Dubliners.A Visitor and Interpretive Centre was built in 1986.

Oisin Kelly

Basin Street,
Off James’ Street

Phone: 01-6612369
Area: South Central
Category: Commemorative Park

Facilities:

  • 5-a-side all weather football pitch
  • Floral Schemes

Located at Basin Street, Off Jame’s Street, this small 0.4 hectare park was developed in the late 1980’s to provide an amenity for local residents with all-weather football and ornamental/passive areas.

Named after Oisin Kelly, who was born near by, a sculptor who provided the city with some of its finest bronze sculptures.

Ormond Square

Off Ormond Quay,
Dublin 1.

Phone: 01-8300833
Area: Central
Category: Suburban Squares and Gardens

Facilities:

  • Playground

Located in the Markets area just off Ormond Quay is Ormond Square, reported to be the oldest dedicated open space in the city.  Essentially a space for surrounding householders due to its quiet location and small size of 0.15 hectares, the landscape treatment has always reflected its intensive image.

In the most recent upgrading in 1998, the design was of mainly hard landscape but with small playlots and perimeter tree planting.

Peace Park

Christchurch Place
Phone: 01-6684364
Area: Southeast
Category: Commemorative Park

Facilities:

  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks
  • River Pool Sea
  • Fountain

Located in Nicholas Street across from Christchurch Cathedral, this small park was dedicated to the yearning for Peace in Ireland and was officially opened in 1988.  Designed as a sunken garden to reduce traffic noise at this busy junction, the main features include a bronze “Tree of Life”, a pool/fountain and fine natural stonework of Calp and Liscannor.

Heathers provide ground cover to a backing of formal planting of hornbeams.  The peace theme is reflected in both the beds of Peace Roses and appropriate biblical and poetic quotations from Yeats and Kavanagh.

Pearse Square

Pearse Square,
Dublin 2.

Phone: 01-6612369
Area: Southeast
Category: Georgian and other squares

Facilities:

  • Floral Schemes
  • Historical
  • Sports Fields

Situated in the heartland of Dublin’s south inner city, Pearse Square is a rectangular open space of just over 0.5 hectare, overlooked by houses on three sides and with the fourth side opening onto Pearse Street.  The square was formerly known as Queen Square and dates from 1839.  In 1996, the Parks Division commenced a 2-year refurbishment programme, the design concept taking as its basis a formal layout which was noted on the 1838 Ordnance Survey map for the area.

A 3.5 metre-high contemporary bronze sculpture entitled “Harmony” by Sandra Bell forms the Square’s centrepiece and the park was re-opened to the public on 2nd July 1998.

Ranelagh Gardens

Ranelagh,
Dublin 6.

Phone: 01-6684364
Area: Southeast
Category: Historic and Heritage Park

Facilities:

  • Floral Schemes
  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks
  • River Pool Sea
  • Sports Fields

Located in Ranelagh and extending to 1 hectare (2.47 acres), the gardens were originally part of 5 hectares of pleasure gardens developed in 1775 by a businessman who called them after Lord Ranelagh from Co. Wicklow.  Lord Ranelagh had similar pleasure gardens beside the Thames in London.  The first hot air balloon flight in Ireland was launched from the pleasure gardens by Richard Crosbie.  The gardens were later sold to a teaching order of nuns and in 1840 the convent there became totally enclosed and the gardens forgotten.

When the lands were developed for housing in the mid 1980’s, the current small park was designed to include an ornamental pool thereby restoring the two-hundred years historical connection with the original Ranelagh Gardens.

Rockfield Ave

Artane,
Dublin 5.

Phone: 01-8336262/8510598
Area: North Central
Category: Northside Neighbourhood parks

Facilities:

  • Athletics
  • Basketball Court
  • Leisure Walks
  • Pavillion
  • Tennis

Located in Artane this 6.5 hectare park was developed on lands amalgamated from the public open space provisions of the three local housing estates – Whitethorn, Thorndale and Elm Mount.  Construction work started in 1981 to provide for local recreational facilities such as football, athletics, tennis, basketball and children’s play.

Local residents played a significant role in the original development culminating in its naming as Rockfield after old quarry excavations on the site.  It was officially opened in October 1983.  Additional changing pavilion completed in 2005 in partnership with Artane Beaumont F.C.

Sandymount Green

Sandymount,
Dublin 4.

Phone: 01-6684364
Area: Southeast
Category: Georgian and other squares

Facilities:

  • Band Performances
  • Floral Schemes
  • Historical

This small, triangular space of about 0.3 hectares is located in the heart of Sandymount and dates from the early 1800’s when it was first railed-in and laid out as a local green.  The horsechestnut trees around the perimeter were planted in the 1800’s by the Corbett family and the green was taken over in the 1960’s by Dublin Corporation as a public park.  A bust of Nobel Prize Winner W.B. Yeats, who was born at No. 5 Sandymount Avenue, is a feature of the Green.

Sandymount Strand

Strand Road,
Sandymount,
Dublin 4.

Phone: 01-6684364
Area: Southeast
Category: Linear Parks and River Valleys

Facilities:

  • Floral Schemes
  • Martello Tower
  • Leisure Walks
  • River Pool Sea
  • Swimming

Stretching for approximately 1 kilometre along the Strand Road, the Promenade is a popular walking place and provides outstanding views over Sandymount Strand to Poolbeg, Irishtown Nature Park and Dun Laoghaire.  Construction of the Promenade commenced in the late 1960’s with final landscape works being completed in the mid 1970’s.  About halfway along the Promenade is the Martello Tower, the Promenade’s main focal point, which was constructed in 1804.

In November 2002 the City Council erected a sculpture entitled “An Cailin Ban” by the Mexican artist Sebastian.  The sculpture was donated to the City by the Mexican Government and now stands as a significant focal point at the northern end of Sandymount Promenade.

Silloge Golf Course

Ballymun,
Dublin 11.

Phone: 01-8429956
Area: Northwest
Category: Sports Facilities

Facilities:

  • Golf
  • Pavilion
  • Sports Fields
  • Wildlife

In the early 1970’s, the Corporation purchased 80 hectares of farmland immediately north of the Ballymun Housing Scheme to provide recreational facilities for the burgeoning local population.  Part of the lands are known locally as Naul Park and some twenty playing pitches were provided there in the mid 1970’s, with a 9-hole golf course developed in 1984 on the part known as Silloge.  The construction of the M50 Motorway in the mid 1990’s divided the lands and Silloge Golf Course to the north of the Motorway was extended to eighteen holes in 1995.  Recognised as a fine demanding test for golfers of all standards, the green-fee charges offer the best value in the country.

St Audeons Park

High Street/Cook Street,
Dublin 8.

Phone: 01-6713156
Area: Southeast
Category: Historic and Heritage Park

Facilities:

  • Old City Wall
  • Leisure Walks

St. Audoen’s Park, although less than 0.5 hectares in size, is quite significant in historical terms.  Located adjacent to St. Audoen’s Church (1300 A.D.), it incorporates the first stone city wall dating from about 1100 A.D.; St. Audoen’s Arch, the last surviving entrance to the old city; and Fagan’s Gate.

The City Wall was restored in 1976 as part of Architectural Heritage Year and the park development of 1982 won a prestigious civic award.  Audoen was a 7th – century Bishop of Rouen (France) and the nearby church named after him is reputedly one of the oldest still used for regular religious services.

St Catherines Park

Thomas Street,
Dublin 8.

Phone: 01-6612369
Area: South Central
Category: Local Inner City Parks

Facilities:

  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks

Formerly a cemetery dating from 1552.  Associated with historic St. Catherine’s Church off Thomas Street, the 0.16 hectare site was developed as a public parking 1985.  Burials ceased in 1894 and the Representative Church Body handed over the Church and graveyard to the Corporation in 1969.  The whole area is steeped in history and is well remembered for Robert Emmet’s execution in front of the church on Thomas Street in 1803.

St Kevins Park

Camden Row,
Dublin 8.

Phone: 01-6612369
Area: Southeast
Category: Local Inner City Parks

Facilities:

  • Floral Schemes
  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks

Located at Camden Row this small 0.3 hectare former burial ground associated with St. Kevin’s Church has long historical associations.  The first reference to the church in historical annals is in 1226.  It was re-roofed in 1582 and in 1584 was the burial place of the martyred Archbishop Dermot O’Hurley but was later abandoned as a community church in 1820.

The Corporation developed the existing park in the late 1960’s.  It is considered to be a most successful conversion of a former cemetery to public park use and preserves the ambience and atmosphere of an old church graveyard.

St Patricks Park

Patrick Street,
Dublin 8.

Phone: 01-4755435
Area: Southeast
Category: Historic and Heritage Park

Facilities:

  • Band Performances
  • Floral Schemes
  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks
  • Playground

Situated beside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, tradition has it that St. Patrick baptised the first Irish Christians there with water from the River Poddle which flows underground.  Developed by Lord Iveagh under the St. Patrick’s Park Act of 1897, work was completed by July 1904 to a layout by Arthur Dudgeon C.E., dated 17th July 1901.  Lord Iveagh continued to maintain the park for a number of years under a joint arrangement with the Corporation who eventually took full responsibility in the 1920’s.

The park provides an ideal setting for the cathedral and recent additions in 1988 include a Literary Parade highlighting the works of Swift, Mangan, Wilde, Shaw, Yeats, Synge, O’Casey, Joyce, Behan, Beckett, Clarke, Dillon and the Liberty Bell Sculpture. There is also a childrens playground.

Stardust Memorial Park

Ringcastle Road,
Coolock,
Dublin 5

Phone: 01-8336262
Area: North Central
Category: Commemorative Park

Facilities:

  • Leisure Walks
  • Playground
  • River Pool Sea
  • Memorial Monument
  • Fountain

It was officially opened on the 18th September, 1993 to commemorate the forty eight victims of the Stardust fire tragedy on St. Valentine’s night 1981.  Located between Greencastle Road and Adare Road along the Santry River, the focus of the 8 hectares (20 acres) park is the Stardust Memorial, the centre-piece of which is a lifesize bronze sculpture of a dancing couple set in a pool with forty eight fountain jets.

Formerly a monastic site, the park has an ornamental pond, seating area, children’s playground and an all-weather floodlit pitch in addition to an extensive pedestrian system and tree plantations.  A characteristic of the development was the valuable support of the local Community, FAS and the Stardust Victims Committee together with finance provided by the government as well as Dublin City Council.

St Annes Park

Clontarf/Raheny
Phone: 83361859 or 8338898
Area: North Central
Category: Commemorative Park

Facilities:

  • Band Performances
  • Floral Schemes
  • Golf/Pitch and Putt
  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks
  • Pavilion
  • River/Pool/Sea
  • Shelter
  • Sports Fields
  • Tennis
  • Wildlife

The brothers Arthur and Benjamin Lee Guinness built up an estate of nearly 123.75 hectares from 1835 onwards in the Clontarf/Raheny area and called the estate St. Anne’s after the Holy Well of the same name on the lands. Sir Arthur Edward Guinness (Lord Ardilaun) was the person most responsible for expanding and developing the estate and gardens and planted evergreen (holm) oaks and pines along the main avenue and estate boundaries.

Lord and Lady Ardilaun had no children and the estate passed to their nephew Bishop Plunkett in the 1920s. In 1937, he decided he could no longer maintain such a large estate and negotiations with the Corporation resulted in the house and estate being sold to the Corporation for approximately £55,000 in 1939. Bishop Plunkett retained Sybil Hill (now St. Paul’s College) as a private residence with 30 acres of parkland. In December 1943, the main residence of St. Anne’s “The Mansion” was gutted by a fire and the ruins demolished in 1968. In the meantime, just over 200 acres of the estate were developed for public housing with the central most attractive portion comprising about 270 acres retained as parkland.

The elaborate Tudor redbrick Ardilaun stables survive, as do most of the follies. The walled garden, including a fruit garden added to the estate by Bishop Plunkett, is now a 12-acre plant nursery for the Parks Department. Thousands of bedding plants, shrubs, trees, and floral tubs are produced annually in the nursery.

The park is intensively used by the public through its 35 playing pitches, 18 hard-surfaced tennis courts, and a par-3 golf course. Woodland paths add to the charm of the park as does a sunken garden constructed in the early 1970s. In 1975, St. Anne’s Rose Garden was opened to the public. In 1980 it was given a Civic Award by Bord Failte and the Irish Town Planning Institute and since 1981 it has been a centre for International Rose Trials.

To celebrate Dublin’s Millennium year in 1988, the Parks Department in co-operation with the tree council of Ireland, initiated the Millennium Arboretum. Consisting of 16 acres located between the main avenue and St Anne’s housing estate, the arboretum is planted with over 1000 types of tees and was sponsored by 1000 participants. The park also has a model car track and green waste recycling facility. More recently, improvements to the park include the refurbishment of the Red Stables, providing and Arts Centre and Restaurant and new entrance gates and piers at the end of the Main Avenue. Ongoing works to upgrade the existing Par 3 Golf Course to an 18 Hole Course are expected to be completed during 2008.

Merrion Square Park

Merrion Square,
Dublin 2.

Phone: 01-6612369
Area: Southeast
Category: Georgian and other squares

Facilities:

  • Band Performances
  • Floral Schemes
  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks
  • Playground
  • River Pool Sea

The construction of the Georgian houses at Merrion Square began in 1762 and continued for 30 years.  The earliest plan of the park shows a double line of trees around the perimeter which was later enclosed by railings in the early years of the 19th century.  A ‘Jardin Anglaise’ approach was adopted for the layout of the park with contoured grass areas, informal tree clumps, sunken curved paths and perimeter planting.

Merrion Square soon became a fashionable address for the aristocracy and the professional classes.  The park was purchased from the Pembroke Estate by the Roman Catholic Church in 1930 for 100,000 as a site for a cathedral.  However, this project never materialised and in 1974 the then Archbishop, Dermot Ryan, transferred the 4.75 hectares (11.7 acres) to Dublin Corporation for use a public park.

Notable features of the park include many fine sculptures; the Rutland Memorial; a collection of old Dublin lamp posts; a central floral garden; heather garden and playground.  What was once the preserve of local privileged keyholders is now a public park to match the best in Europe and a successful adaptation of a typical Georgian Square to modern intensive public usage.

Mountjoy Square Park

Mountjoy Square,
Dublin 1.

Phone: 01-6612369
Area: Central
Category: Georgian and other squares

Facilities:

  • 5-a-side all weather football pitch
  • Band Performances
  • Floral Schemes
  • Historical
  • Leisure Walks
  • Playground
  • Tennis

Located in the centre of Mountjoy Square, once Dublin’s premier Georgian area, and comprising 1.8 hectares, this park was originally created by the Developer of the Square, Luke Gardiner, Lord Mountjoy around 1800, as part of his grand concept which envisaged the great sweep of Gardiner Street down to the Custom House.

While the Square was upgraded in the late 1980’s, its full potential as a Georgian Park must await the relocation of the existing all-weather sports area currently under active consideration by the City Council.

Liffey Valley Park

Chapelizod/Islandbridge
Phone: 01-4542555
Area: South Central
Category Linear Parks and River Valleys

Facilities:

  • Leisure Walks
  • River Pool Sea
  • Wildlife

Located between the Liffey to the north and the Chapelizod by-pass to the south and extending from St. Laurence Road to the War Memorial Gardens (managed by the OPW) at Islandbridge, is Liffey Valley Park, comprising approximately 12 hectares (29 acres).  To the south of the by-pass and north of Sarsfield Road lie Longmeadows Park and East Timor Park (formerly known as the Ranch).  This complex of open spaces was formerly one unit but the construction of the by-pass has fragmented the spaces which nonetheless function well as individual elements. Liffey Valley Park provides a pleasant walk along the river and this stretch is much valued by nearby rowing clubs while Longmeadows is currently being developed as an 18-hole pitch and putt course and is due to open in 1999/2000.  East Timor Park (named in 1998), was developed mainly for playing fields in the early 1990’s and is linked to the Liffey Valley by a pedestrian bridge over the motorway thereby providing useful linkage between the network of open spaces in the area.

Further improvement works have been implemented at Liffey Valley Park, with a new bridge linking the two riverbanks and route linking the park up to the Phoenix Park to be constructed in 2008.

Iveah Gardens

The Iveagh Gardens are among the finest and least known of Dublin’s parks and gardens.  They were designed by Ninian Niven, in 1865, as an intermediate design between the ‘French Formal’ and the ‘English Landscape’ styles.  They demonstrated the artistic skills of the landscape Architect of the mid 19th century and display a unique collection of landscape features which include Rustic Grotto’s and Cascade, sunken formal panels of lawn with Fountain Centre Pieces, Wilderness, Woodlands, Maze, Rosarium, American Garden, Archery Grounds, Rockeries and Rooteries.

The conservation and restoration of the Gardens commenced in 1995 and to date most of the features have been restored, for example the Maze in Box hedging with a Sundial as a centrer piece.  The recently restored Cascade and exotic tree ferns all help to create a sense of wonder in the ‘Secret Garden’.  The pre 1860s rose varieties add an extra dimension to the Victorian Rosarium.

Location: Access now from Hatch Street. Disabled access Clonmel Street and Hatch Street

War Memorial Gardens

South Circular Rd,
Islandbridge.

Entrance from Con Colbert Rd. and South Circular Rd. (Phoenix Park end)

Bus Route(s): No’s. 51, 68 and 69 from Aston Quay

These gardens are one of the most famous memorial gardens in Europe.  They are dedicated to the memory of 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in the 1914 – 1918 war.  The names of all the soldiers are contained in the beautifully illustrated Harry Clarke manuscripts in the granite bookrooms in the gardens.

These gardens are not only a place of remembrance but are also of great architectural interest and beauty. They are one of four gardens in this country designed by the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944). The others being Heywood Gardens (see p.63), Lambay Island and those in Howth Castle.

Sunken rose gardens, herbaceous borders and extensive tree planting make for an enjoyable visit to the gardens in any season.

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