HERBERT PARK NOVEMBER 2014
The marshy patch of ground that Herbert Park currently stands on was previously known as the Forty Acres. The area has a long history, dating back to the early thirteenth century when it was owned by the Priory of All Hallows, an Augustinian foundation.
For centuries the park was part of the vast Fitzwilliam Estate until it was inherited by the 11th Earl of Pembroke in 1816. In 1903, the earl gave the site to Pembroke Urban District Council for development as a public park. The park is named after his father, Sidney Herbert (1810-1861).
The famous Dublin International Trades’ Exhibition was held on the site in 1907, housing exhibits from across the British Empire (including a complete Somalian village). The existing duck pond was constructed for the exhibition to house the ‘Canadian Waterchute’, but little else remains of the original buildings. The park was taken over by Dublin Corporation in 1932.
The park is thirty-two acres in size and is in two halves, divided by a road, also called Herbert Park. A full circuit of the park’s perimeter is almost exactly one mile (1.57 km), a fact used by runners and walkers to measure their progress. The larger half, on the south side of the road, is bounded by the River Dodder, houses, and includes a number of soccer pitches, formal gardens, and a large duck pond and an older public children’s playground. A gazebo is also present in the North-Eastern corner of the park at the entrance to the Herbert Park Hotel.
The northern half is home to the newly refurbished public children’s playground, a number of tennis courts, and the bowling green of Herbert Park Bowling Club.
The park’s pond has proven to be an excellent location for breeding of carp. In February 2006 the pond was nearly completely emptied in order for cleaning to take place. The carp were removed to alternative locations. These carp were up to 2 feet (0.61 m) in length. In spring 2009, the pond was re-stocked.
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