Street Photography By William Murphy

ST. ANNE’S PARK
St Anne's Park is my favourite public park and it is located within Dublin City Council, situated between Raheny and Clontarf, both suburbs on the northside of Dublin, Ireland.

The park, the second largest municipal park in Dublin, is part of a former 202 hectares (500 acres) estate assembled by members of the Guinness family, descendants of Sir Arthur Guinness, founder of the famous brewery, beginning with Benjamin Lee Guinness in 1835 (the largest municipal park is nearby (North) Bull Island, also shared between Clontarf and Raheny). Features include an artificial pond and a number of follies, a fine collection of trees, a playground, parklands walks and recreational
facilities including golf.

St. Annes is known for its follies, of which there are approximately ten, mainly around the Naniken river. The follies include a Herculanean Temple on a mock-ruined bridge abutment along the Naniken river, which served as a tearoom for the family, a Pompeian Water Temple of Isis on the banks of the duckpond, and the Annie Lee Tower and Bridge near the chestnut walk.

Other follies include Saint Anne's Well beside the duckpond, after which the park gets its name, the Hermitage Bridge, Yew Circle and Fountain (behind the formal walled garden beside the house), rustic cave and bridge, three rustic archways and a rockwork feature. A "Druidic Circle" of Giant's Causeway basalt was lost at an earlier stage. An unusual folly is the Roman style viewing tower which stands on the hill overlooking the duckpond. This started out as an observation tower on the roof of the original house. Later, the tower was removed during extensive refurbishment of St. Anne's house in about 1873 and placed in its current location. It is modelled on the Tomb of the Julii at Glanum near St. Rémy in France.

Many of the follies are in a neglected condition at present, with graffiti being an ongoing problem. For example, the Roman style viewing tower is graffiti covered and has been closed for many years. In addition it is completely hidden by mature trees and could only be revealed by felling them, which would be detrimental to the environment of the park. An alternative proposal is that the tower be moved instead to the site of the old rockery, near the junction of James Larkin Road and Mount Prospect Avenue. In 2010, Dublin City Council, with the support of the Heritage Council, commissioned a strategy by conservation architects (Shaffrey and Associates) for the long-term conservation of these follies, and it is planned to implement this on a phased basis.





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