Historic Parks and Squares

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Image of Merrion Square and Mountjoy Square

Historic Park Projects

In 2011 the cultural and business interests around Merrion Square came together to set up the Merrion Square Innovation Network with the aim of create a more vibrant cultural tourist quarter. In 2012 there were a range of events facilitated by Failte Ireland and a policy amongst the stakeholders of having their doors open and more welcoming for visitors. One of the key outcomes of the Network is how the Park should evolve into the future and the concept of a café in the park has been suggested. A study is underway to set the context for how the park could evolve into the future informed obviously by its heritage and its evolution to date. The City Council are a partner in the network and support the objective of the Park being the heart of a vibrant cultural South Georgian quarter.

The Mountjoy Square Society represents a number of committed individuals who live and work on the Square whose aim is to pursue the conservation and restoration of this very important park for the City. However, it is acknowledged there are very difficult issues to resolve around the use and layout of the Park. In 2012 the City Council carried out a user survey of more than 260 people and found that over 90% expressed ‘a strong love’ for the park; almost 50% of those ‘interviewed’ were not Irish; no one mentioned heritage and the most serious issue of concern to them was anti social behaviour.

These 2 squares differ in two key respects. Firstly there is a diverse resident community at Mountjoy Square and there are only a few people on Merrion Square. Secondly, the degree of intervention to the layout of Mountjoy Square is very significant while Merrion Square relatively speaking has not changed significantly from 1846.

In both cases these projects are facilitated by a strong desire of stakeholders in both cases to conserve heritage and to improve the presentation of these Georgian squares. The Parks Service welcomes this dynamic and is conscious of the need to establish realistic timelines for change to happen and to manage the expectations of the stakeholders in this regard.

Arial view of Parks

More Historic Parks and squares in the city:

Blessington Street Basin: Measuring 0.75 Hectare (1.85 acres) 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. Read More…

Dartmouth Square Park: is a small, enclosed, rectangular shaped late Victorian/early Edwardian period Park located between Upper Leeson Street and Ranelagh Road. Read More...

Harold’s Cross Park: This 1.25 hectare (3 acres) park was developed in 1894 by the Rathmines / Rathgar Commissioners and officially opened on May 1st1894. The site of the park was used as commonage from medieval times. Read More…

Herbert Park: 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. Read More… 

Merrion Square (Archbishop Ryan Park): The construction of the Georgian houses at Merrion Square began in 1762 and continued for 30 years. The earliest plan of the park shows ......Read More

Mountjoy Square Park: Located in the centre of Mountjoy Square, once Dublin’s premier Georgian area, Read More…

Palmerstown Park : Lord and Lady Mount Temple, original owners of the land, offered the “Palmerstown Grounds” to the Commission of the Rathmines and Rathgar Township in 1881. Read More…

St. Anne’s Park : The brothers Arthur and Benjamin Lee Guiness built up an estate of nearly 500 acres from 1835 onwards in the Clontarf/Raheny area and called the estate of St. Anne’s after the Holy Well of the same name on the lands. Read More….

St. Patrick’s Park: 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. Read More…

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