The park is located in Rathfarnham, Rathgar and Milltown. It is named after the River Dodder, which flows through it.
The Dodder Valley Linear Park is a unique and priceless asset for the people of South Dublin and beyond. In addition to its natural conservation value, the park offers a rich heritage, outstanding scenery and a sanctuary for peaceful recreation.
Today I used a Voigtlander 40mm Manual Focus lens.
The river floods surrounding areas from time to time, as it is too short and shallow to hold the volume of water which pours into it from its tributaries during heavy rain. The River Dodder “has a history of flooding and is known as a “flashy” river with a quick response to rainstorms.”
A flood on the Dodder in March 1628 claimed the life of Arthur Ussher, Deputy Clerk to the Privy Council of Ireland, who was “carried away by the current, nobody being able to succour him, although many persons…. his nearest friends, were by on both sides.”
The two greatest Dodder floods before 1986 occurred on 25 August 1905, and on 3 and 4 August 1931. Hurricane Charley (often spelt “Charlie” in Ireland) passed south of the country on 25 August 1986. In 24 hours, 200mm (almost 8 inches) of rain poured down on Kippure Mountain while 100mm fell on Dublin causing heavy river flooding, including the Dodder in many places, and hardship and loss were experienced.
It has long been recognised that the problem of flooding is very difficult to solve, due to the sheer volume of water which pours into the river during periods of heavy rainfall.
PACKHORSE BRIDGE ACROSS THE DODDER A1650s STONE FOOTBRIDGE IN MILLTOWN
It has taken me more than a year to find the name of this bridge a few months ago a local told me that it was the oldest bridge in Dublin but he could not remember its name but it had something to do with horses.
A packhorse bridge is a bridge intended to carry packhorses (horses loaded with sidebags or panniers) across a river or stream. Typically a packhorse bridge consists of one or more narrow (one horse wide) masonry arches, and has low parapets so as not to interfere with the panniers borne by the horses. Multi-arched examples sometimes have triangular cutwaters that are extended upward to form pedestrian refuges.
Packhorse bridges were often built on the trade routes (often called packhorse routes) that formed major transport arteries across Europe and Great Britain until the coming of the turnpike roads and canals in the 18th century. Before the road-building efforts of Napoleon, all crossings of the Alps were on packhorse trails. Travellers’ carriages were dismantled and transported over the mountain passes by ponies and mule trains.
FOLLOWING THE DODDER RIVER FROM MILLTOWN TO CLONSKEAGH
The Dodder lay well beyond the original city of Dublin but began to have an important impact in the 13th century, when water from its course was diverted to boost the small Poddle River, which in turn did supply fresh water to parts of Dublin.
Over centuries, the Dodder and its tributaries drove many mills, crucial to Dublin’s industrial base, but all are now disused. In many cases, all traces have been erased but there are some indications, such as of millraces.
The de Meones family, who gave their name to the nearby suburb of Rathmines, owned a mill in that area as early as the mid-fourteenth century.In the sixteenth century much of the surrounding lands belonged to the Talbot family, ancestors of the Talbots of Mount Talbot. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Domvile family, who owned much of Templeogue, effectively controlled access to much of the river, which passed through their estates. At that time the Dodder was the main source of Dublin’s drinking water, and whether fairly or unfairly, the Domviles were accused of using their control of the Dublin water supply to further their own selfish ends, by threatening to divert its course if their wishes were not met. In fact the legal right to control the course of the river was vested in the Mayor and Corporation of Dublin; this was confirmed by a legal ruling as early as 1527.
The Dodder rises on the northern slopes of Kippure in the Wicklow Mountains and is formed from several streams. The headwaters flow from Kippure Ridge, and include, and are often mapped solely as, Tromanallison (Allison’s Brook), which is then joined by Mareen’s Brook, including the Cataract of the Brown Rowan, and then the combined flow meeting the Cot and Slade Brooks.
In the river’s valley at Glenasmole are the two Bohernabreena Reservoirs, a major part of the Dublin water supply system.
The Dodder is 26 kilometres (16 mi) long. It passes the Dublin suburbs of Tallaght and then Firhouse, travels by Templeogue, passes Rathfarnham, Rathgar, Milltown, Clonskeagh, and Donnybrook, and goes through Ballsbridge and past Sandymount, before entering the Liffey near Ringsend, along with the Grand Canal, at Grand Canal Dock.
There is a weir just above the bridge at Ballsbridge and the river becomes tidal roughly where the bridge at Lansdowne Road crosses it. The Dodder and the River Tolka are Dublin’s second-largest rivers, after the Liffey.