THE FOLLIES OF ST. ENDA’S PARK THE STAIR TOWER OR TEMPLE
I have noticed that a few accounts refer, in error, to the Summerhouse as the Tower.
The folly by the Whitechurch stream is known as the Tower or the Temple. It is a decorative building with a practical purpose, an architectural device used to change levels from the lower path beside the pond to the upper path. Originally there was a third set of steps leading up to the rooftop viewing platform of the tower (now changed for safety reasons). During the renovation of the tower a lower/basement level was discovered that had contained a 19th pumping system which may have been used to pump water to the fountain in the nearby walled garden. From the far side of the stream there is a clear view of the different types of stone and the decorative way it is used on the building.
A Folly is a building constructed for, aesthetic pleasure, decoration on the landscape, entertainment, amusement and fun.
Throughout the late 18th and early 19th century follies were a fashionable addition to a garden or demesne. Major Doyne who was owner of the house in the 1860’s is said to have erected an obelisk in memory of the horse that carried him safely through battle in the Crimean war. Patrick Pearse moved his school, Scoil Éanna, to Rathfarnham in 1910 and seems to have been very taken with the idea of it being a ‘Hermitage’ and a retreat from the city, nestling in the foothills of the Dublin mountains.
The Hudsons actually went so far as to build a Hermit’s Cave, complete with mysterious arcane carvings and a secluded stone seat for contemplation. In June 1913 Pearse began a series of articles in the Irish Freedom newspaper which he entitled “From A Hermitage”. He began by saying “I have only two qualities in common with the real (or Imaginary) hermit who once lived (or did not live) in this place: I am poor and I am merry”. The articles were published monthly, with the final one appearing in January 1914. In them Pearse reflected on the current state of Ireland and what Irish people needed to do to obtain their freedom.
ROTUNDA RINK MEMORIAL AT PARNELL SQUARE NEAR THE GATE THEATRE
Google Maps describes this as “1916 Site Of Rotund Rink” but on the copper plaque the date is 1913.
Unfortunately there is a lot of lens flare my photographs of this memorial because I used a very wide-angle lens and the sunlight was somewhat overpowering.
Oglaigh na hÉireann was founded in the Rotunda Rink and the neighbouring garden on 25th November 1913. The Rotunda Rink, was a temporary building in the Rotunda Gardens capable of holding 4,000.
25 November – The pro-Home Rule Irish Volunteers are formed at a meeting attended by 4,000 men in Dublin’s Rotunda Rink.
On 19th November 1913, James Larkin and James Connolly established the Irish Citizen Army as a force to protect workers from the excesses of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. It had a membership of about 350, the majority being members of Unions.
The Irish Volunteers, Óglaigh na hÉireann, was founded on 25th November 1913 at a public meeting held in the Rotunda Rink in Dublin. It emerged in response to an article, ‘The North Began’ written by Eoin MacNeill in the Gaelic League paper ‘An Claidheamh Soluis’. The Volunteers included members of the Gaelic League, Ancient Order of Hibernians and Sinn Féin, and, secretly, the IRB and its ranks numbered up to 100,000 at one point.
At the time of WW1 the Irish Volunteers broke into two distinct bodies. The National Volunteers, under the direction of John Redmond, went to fight in the Great War; the Irish Volunteers, under the direction of men such as Patrick Pearse and Eoin McNeill, stayed in Ireland and went on to join forces with The Irish Citizens Army in the 1916 Uprising.
On Easter Monday 1916 four men left Oakley Road to fight in the Easter Rising. Pádraig Pearce and his brother Willie took up position in the GPO, Éamonn Ceannt in the South Dublin Union and Thomas MacDonagh in Jacob’s biscuit factory. A few weeks later they were shot by firing squad in Kilmainham.
Founded by Patrick Pearse and Thomas MacDonagh, the first site of St Enda’s (Scoil Éanna) was Cullenswood House on Oakley Road, Ranelagh, Dublin. The school opened on 8 September 1908. It was originally conceived as St Lorcan’s School but took the name of St Enda of Aran, who abandoned the heroic life of a warrior to teach a devoted band of scholars in the remote seclusion of the Aran Islands.
Pearse, generally known as a leader of the Easter Rising in 1916, had long been critical of the educational system in Ireland, which he believed taught Irish children to be good Englishmen. He had for years been committed to the preservation of the Irish language, mostly through the Gaelic League, and was dearly concerned about the language’s future. A trip abroad to Belgium and his observations of bi-lingual education there inspired him to attempt a similar experiment at home.