Herbert Park – 100 years on

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On 21st August 2011 Herbert Park will celebrate its’ centenary.  The park was formally opened in 1911 by Lord Aberdeen, the Lord Lieutenant at the time.  A Family Fun Day, organised by Dublin City Council in conjunction with the local Community and Traders, will run from 1pm to 5pm on the day.

Activities will include a children's model train for rides, a carousel and a climbing wall.  Chess champions will be available to challenge anyone daring enough!  A Tai Chi and Yoga sanctuary will be open for all seeking relaxation and meditation. Two model boat clubs will have more than 40 models on the pond and the sea scouts will be demonstrating their skills. At the bandstand, the Army Band, followed by Paddy Cole and later, “Past Times” band will provide musical entertainment for all ages.  Pat Liddy will host an historical walk "Making Exhibitions of themselves "of the area which will start at the Horse Show House Pub at 12pm.

“This Free Family Fun Day is open to people of all age groups and is a great way to celebrate 100 years of Herbert Park.  There are such a diverse range of activities on offer on the day that I know everyone will enjoy the entertainment” said the Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Maria Parodi.


Notes to the Editor:

The park dates back to 1200 when the area was known as Forty Fields and associated with the original Donnybrook Fair. In 1816 the 7th Viscount of Fitzwilliam who had accumulated vast tracks of land in South Dublin left his estate to the 11th Earl of Pembroke. 

In 1863 the Pembroke township was formed but it subsequently became Pembroke Urban District Council covering Ballsbridge, Donnybrook, Sandymount and Ringsend.

In 1903 it was decided to hold an International Exhibition in Dublin to showcase Irish produce and businesses on the thirty five acres of land which was gifted to Pembroke Urban District Council by the Earl of Pembroke to mark the coming of age of his son Right Hon. Sydney Herbert. The land was initially rented for grazing before being leased to the Dublin International Exhibition 1907 Committee for a period of three years.

In 1907 Dublin International Exhibition which would be similar to a modern day Expo was held in Herbert Park for six months and attracted crowds of between 2.5 and 3 million from all over the world. The Highlight of the event was the visit by King Edward V11, Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria.

By 1909 most of the clearance of the Exhibition had been completed, the area had been gated and a gardener had been employed.  A competition for the design of the park was held, a £50 prize was awarded to Messrs J Cheal and Sons , Lowfield Nurseries ,Crawley, Sussex a leading landscape gardener at the time. The park was formally opened in 1911 by Lord Aberdeen, the Lord Lieutenant at the time.