If you walk along Pearse Street today, you will come to a lovely park called Pearse Square, but 300 years ago, you would have needed a boat to get to it because it was underwater!
This video is designed as a resource for primary and post-primary students up to Junior Certificate.
When you walk along Pearse Street today, you will come to a lovely park called Pearse Square, but 300 years ago, you would have needed a boat to get to it because it was all underwater! The Liffey was wider then, but the people needed more land. In the eighteenth century they made the river narrower by building a wall and quay, thus reclaiming some land. This new land was very swampy at first and flooded with every tide but after a while it dried out and was used for grazing animals. From here you could look across to the big gallows on Misery Hill where they hanged pirates and thieves.
At the beginning of the next century it was decided to build houses on the new land and so in 1839 the square was built and named Queen’s Square after Queen Victoria. The Square is surrounded by houses on three sides, with an entrance on to Pearse Street.
Now the Theatre Royal was nearby, and the houses in Pearse Square were big and spacious so it became the place where all the celebrity stars stayed when they were performing in Dublin.
The square was renamed Pearse Square in 1926 in honour of Patrick Pearse.
In 1996 work began on the park and on 2 July 1998, the park re-opened as a lovely green area in the heart of the city.
A 3.5 metre high bronze sculpture called “Harmony” forms the centrepiece of this beautiful park.