St. Anne's Park
|One Hundred years ago when
Dublin was already famous for it's Parks and Gardens, Arthur Guinness of brewery fame was
making a home for his young wife Olive at the place now known as St. Anne's Park.
The property then being developed as a private estate by the Guinness family was known by
a number of names such as "Thornhill", " Blackbush", and
"Herronstown". The name "St.Anne's" given to it by Mr. Guinness
was inspired by an old Holy Well known as "St. Anne's Well". This well is
situated on the eastern side of the Park near the present James Larkin Road. It is
still there-although it has been dry for many years.
Mr.and Mrs. Guinness, later known as Lord and Lady Ardilaun, were lovers of trees, so they planted great belts of Evergreen Oak, also known as "Holm Oak" to give shelter to their new home from the cold easterly winds which blow into the Park from the Bull Island. St. Anne's Park would be a cold bleak place without these beautiful trees which have now matured to create shelter and warmth for people , young and old, who romp and play there.
The Ardilauns were not just satisfied to plant Holm Oak, they made mounds and hollows, they made an artificial lake and stocked it with fish, and they planted many flowering trees with light green leaves, which looked lovely in the magic of the Spring and Summer sun when viewed against the masses of dark green leaves in which the Oak is dressed.
During 1949 St. Anne' became a Public Park, thanks to the wisdom of a far-seeing City Council and since that time it has developed as an open-air recreation centre which occupies 266 acres incorporating 34 Football Playing Pitches; 18 Tennis Courts; a par 3 Golf Course; a Rose Garden, Ponds Walks and Ornamental Lawns.
Last year some 30,000 rounds of golf were played here, 15,000 games of tennis and a estimated 75,000 man-hours of ball playing. The Rose Garden was never without admirers during the Summer season, not to mention the many who dreamed and played in the leafy glades of this beautiful Park. All this enjoyment of St. Anne's Park is a fitting tribute to the memory of men such as Andrew Campbell whose skill and industry gave us the Park we know to-day.
Andrew Campbell died at St.Anne's during 1917 having served with the Guinness family for some 30 years as Head Gardener. The Malmaison Rose "Souvenir de St.Anne's" which now grows near the eastern entrance to the Rose Garden was raised by Mr. Campbell.
- Courtesy of G. Barry (Dublin Corporation Parks Superintendent
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