St Stephens Green, Dublin
Right in the very middle of Dublin is a park which is known as St Stephen’s Green. The Park is a very historical park and garden with a past that goes back around four hundred years.
The current curators of the Park are a state body known as the OPW (the Office of Public Works), the park is very important to people in the centre of Dublin as it provides a welcome area of greenery and beauty in a sea of concrete buildings and roads. For many it is simply their refuge and oasis in a lively city. During its four or so centuries of history, the park and Dublin have just about seen everything that has happened together. Not only is the park a beautiful refuge of Plants, shrubs, trees, sculptures and wild life and in particular many species of birds may be found there. Also in the park you can find Public facilities such as a children’s playground and a very special garden for the visually impaired.
It is thought that a nearby thirteenth century church called St Stephens gave its name to the park. Coupled with the church was a leper hospital. Records show that around the thirteenth century that the land was marshy and used by farmers to graze cows, sheep and pigs. On some maps the marshy ground extends to the River Dodder.
By the early nineteenth century the park’s condition had got very much worse to such an extent that the wall around the perimeter was decayed and in very bad repair, and much of the shrubs, plants and trees were to be found to be badly decayed in the park. A body of commissioners representing the local house owners and tenants were handed control of the park in 1814. Ornate Victorian railings replaced the decayed wall with and they immediately started planting more trees and shrubs in the park. New paths were designed and put in place as replacements for the previous paths. Unfortunately with the new regeneration of the park St Stephens Green then was exclusively a private park only accessible to those who paid for keys to enter from the body of Commissioners. This modus operandi was in direct contradiction of the 1635 law which said that the park was to be made available to all people regardless of their station in life. The general public of Dublin did not like this at all.
Gary Matthews Solicitors
Medical negligence solicitors, Dublin