St Anne’s Park is a 270 acre public park that previously formed part of a 500 acre estate developed by the Guinness family. The estate originally consisted of a large mansion with landscaped and woodland gardens. The mansion was lost to a fire in 1943 but the follies and garden buildings, dating from 1838, have survived.
Twelve follies were built by the Guinness family.
A folly is a decorative garden building. Follies were built to resemble bridges, temples, towers and more and reflected the tastes of wealthy 19th century aristocrats returning from their Grand Tours of Europe. Visiting the ruins of the continent, Italy in particular, they desired to replicate the romantic settings upon their return home.
The first folly to be built was the Annie Lee Bridge, near the chestnut walk, which commemorated the birth of Benjamin Lee Guinness’s daughter in 1837. The rest followed during the 1850’s and 1860’s. Most of the follies follow the course of the Naniken River which runs through the park, the rest can be found along an oak-lined avenue.
I have never been able to decide if there are three distinct lakes or one lake divided into three sections by walls and waterfalls but there are two separate bridges. To the best of my knowledge, the water for the lake(s) is fed from an underground supply and flows downhill [of course] in the same direction as the River Dodder.
Bushy Park dates back to 1700 when Arthur Bushe, Secretary to the Revenue Commissioners, built the house known as “Bushes House” on a site of four hectares. The property was obtained by John Hobson in 1772. He changed the name to Bushy Park.
In 1791, the park was purchased by Abraham Wilkinson who added almost 40 hectares to the estate. He gave it as a dowry to his daughter Maria when she married Robert Shaw in 1796. The Shaws (distant relatives of George Bernard Shaw) remained connected with Bushy Park until 1951, when they sold the estate to Dublin Corporation.
GASWORKS LATTICE BRIDGE IN WATERFORD – RECENTLY RESTORED
When I first photographed this bridge a few years ago I was under the impression that it was a new structure but it dates from from the late 1870s.
In early 2013, the Waterford Civic Trust became concerned that the Lattice Bridge connecting the Waterside and the Gasworks site would be removed and scrapped like the other connecting bridge. With the help of Waterford City Council a plan was devised and acted upon, whereby the bridge was safely removed for restoration. Work has been done to the bridge to bring it up to modern health and safety standards and to ensure it’s use in Waterford’s life.