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Hidden gardens (31.12.01)

Most park space in Dublin is quite safe for walking, jogging and general relaxation - you will be joining a large number of natives who enjoy these excellent facilities both summer and winter. However, just one word of warning - do not camp in the Phoenix Park as it is extremely big and difficult for the authorities to patrol. All Dublin parks open in daylight hours - most are open 7 days a week from 8am (10pm Sundays) and close at 6pm (4 or 5pm in winter/spring]. This page concentrates on the gems contained within our city.

Top of the list has to be the Iveagh gardens very near St Stephen's Green but only opened in the last few years to the general public. This tranquil setting has landscaped gardens and a maze and fountain amongst other attractions. Access is through Clonmel Street which is off Harcourt Street [map section O-54]. If you are standing at the Stephen's Green of Harcourt Street, walk up Harcourt Street and a short distance on the left-hand side is Clonmel Street. The park entrance is at the end of that short street.

There were many graveyards in Dublin not attached to churches and a few have survived the relentless progress of Dublin. One of my favourites may be found on Merrion Row, just off St. Stephen's Green and a stone's throw from the Shelbourne Hotel. It is on the same side as the Shelbourne and is the resting place of many of Dublin's Huguenot community [see picture of front and plaque]. Many Dubliners pass it daily and fail to realise its significance. The Huguenots (French protestants) came to Dublin from the later seventeenth century, having been expelled from France for religious reasons. They were skilled workers - many were superb craftsmen and they settled quickly in Dublin's tolerant (?) atmosphere. They worshipped in various protestant churches and St. Patrick's Cathedral displays a monument to them, near the Lady Chapel. They had other independent burial grounds including Peter's Street (near the DIT's Institute) and at the rear of New Row (quite near St. Patrick's).

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