CROPPIES ACRE 1798 MEMORIAL PARK OR THE CROPPY’S ACRE
Within the park there is a memorial and a plaque which refers to the “Croppy’s Acre” but the official name is the “Croppies Acre 1798 Memorial Park”. This park on the north side of the Liffey is considered to be the burial site of so-called “croppies” who took part in the United Irishmen Rebellion however recent investigations indicate that the mass burial may have been at a different location.
The National Graves Association maintains that it was also used after 1798 to bury veterans of the conflict, including Matthew Tone, brother of Wolfe Tone. Bartholomew Teeling was also supposedly buried at Croppies’ Acre after being hanged at Provost Prison, Arbour Hill.
The name ‘Croppy’ was used in Ireland in the 1790s and was a reference to the rebels who closely cropped their hair to mimic the French Revolutionaries of the period who cut their hair in contrast to the aristocracy who wore powdered wigs.
Historically the Croppies Acre was located on land under common pasturage and part of what was termed ‘Oxmantown Green’.
In the 17th century, a portion was later presented to the Viceroy, the Duke of Ormond to build a palace, however this was never built and the site was sold to the City Authorities for a Barracks. Built in 1704, it served as a military base for 250 years, it was formally the Royal Barracks and later Collins Barracks.
The Esplanade where the Croppies Acre is located today was fully constructed by the 1850s, complete with boundary walls and ornate railings. During the Great Famine, the Esplanade was the site of a food kitchen. By the 1900s, the land was levelled to form two football pitches for the military. In 1997, the Decorative Arts Section of the National Museum was opened in Collins Barracks and the Memorial Park was subsequently designed and laid out in 1998.