Phoenix Park (Irish: Páirc an Fhionnuisce – meaning clear water) is an urban park located West of city center. It is comprised of 707 hectares (1,750 acres) and was created in 1662. It was initially used as a Royal hunting park, stocked with pheasants and deer and enclosed by a wall, but was finally opened to the people, by the Earl of Chesterfield in 1745.
By the 19th century, the park had become neglected and the Commissioners of Woods and Forests took it over. They commissioned Decimus Burton, famed English landscape architect to develop an overall plan for the park. The plan took almost 20 years to complete.
In 1886, The Chief Secretary for Ireland (the British Cabinet minister with responsibility for Irish affairs), Lord Frederick Cavendish and the Under-Secretary for Ireland (chief civil servant), Thomas Henry Burke, were stabbed to death with surgical knives, while walking from Dublin Castle . A small insurgent group called the Irish National Invincibles were responsible.
The park today is a quiet green space for all to enjoy. It houses the Dublin Zoo, the Papal Cross, erected during Pope John-Paul’s 1979 visit, the Phoenix Column and the Wellington Monument, the largest obelisk in Europe at 62 m (203 feet) high.
Also housed here are the Phoenix Visitor Center, Ashtown Castle, Magazine Fort, Deerfield Residence and the People’s Gardens.
After enjoying our hotel buffet breakfast, we awaited the arrival of R & J from Sheffield. We got their luggage stowed in our room, went for coffee and then elected to take a nice walk in Phoenix Park to catch up on what had happened since we last met in 2017. Time passed quickly as we strolled the grounds and we had a few laughs, before heading to lunch at Nancy Hands Pub.
Here are the scenes from our walk.
…and here is the Wellington Monument.