Bushy Park House

Bushy Park House is one of the oldest buildings in Terenure. It was built around 1700 by a man called Arthur Bushe.

This video is designed as a resource for primary and post-primary students up to Junior Certificate.

Bushy Park House, Terenure

Between Terenure and Rathfarnham lies a large beautiful park called Bushy Park. It was once part of a big estate of the same name. The house connected with the estate, Bushy Park House, is a three-storey house with twenty-four rooms. It is situated on the southern boundary of Bushy Park. It was built in a style called ‘Georgian’ which was popular in the eighteenth century when the British kings George I, George II and George III ruled Ireland.

Bushy Park House is one of the oldest buildings in Terenure. It was built around 1700 by a man called Arthur Bushe and was known as Bushe’s House. But this is not where it got its name from. John Hobson who became the owner of the house in 1772 changed its name to Bushy Park House, possibly after a park in London with the same name.

From 1796 until 1953 the house and estate were the home of the Shaw family. Sir Robert Shaw Junior (1774–1849) who lived in nearby Terenure House was a well-known and important man in the early nineteenth century in Dublin. He was a merchant and owned his own bank and later became Lord Mayor of Dublin. In 1796 he married the daughter of a local wealthy man called Abraham Wilkinson who owned Bushy Park at that time. Abraham Wilkinson gave the house and estate and a large sum of money to his daughter as a present when she got married (this was called a ‘dowry’). This is how the Shaw family came to own Bushy Park.

The estate was much bigger then than Bushy Park is now. It was mostly used for farming and parts of it were leased to tenants who had to pay money for its use. It also had lots of wooded areas and the local children called the estate ‘Shaw’s Wood’.

The family name Shaw was made famous by George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright  who had written the play Pygmalion on which the musical My Fair Lady is based. He also received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925.

George Bernhard Shaw was a distant relation of the Shaws of Terenure. George Bernhard Shaw’s grandmother lived there for 45 years and he often visited her.

In 1953, after 166 years Maria Shaw the last of the Shaw family left the house. The house and grounds were sold to Dublin City Council. Two years later Dublin City Council sold the house and part of the estate to the Sisters of Religious Christian Education who built Our Lady’s School in its grounds.

Bushy Park House was sold again in 1999. It is now a listed building which means it cannot be changed or knocked down.

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