Phoenix Park, Dublin

4.5 out of 5 stars 49 Reviews

Parkgate Street, Dublin 8 +00 353 (0)1 820 5800

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  • Deer in Phoenix Park
    Deer in Phoenix Park
    by MalenaN
  • Deer in Phoenix Park
    Deer in Phoenix Park
    by MalenaN
  • Papal Cross
    Papal Cross
    by MalenaN
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    PARKGATE STREET ENTRANCE

    by davidjo Written Aug 7, 2015

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    The main entrance to Phoenix Park is called the Parkgate Street Entrance and it is open 24 hours a day. There are 4 posts with streetlamps on the top and at one time you could enter anywhere between the four posts, but now with the modern road you can only enter at each side as the middle two posts are closed to traffic and there is a separation between the two roads going in and out of the gate. I believe that the two middle posts were removed at one time, only to be replaced some years later. By the gate there is a lodge where the gatekeeper lived in the 19th century when the lodge was built. Nowadays you can rent bikes at the old gatekeepers lodge.

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    THEY BLEW HIM UP !

    by davidjo Written Aug 7, 2015

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    The People's Garden near the main entrance to Phoenix Park was home for a statue of the 7th Earl of Carlisle, George William Frederick Howard but unfortunately only the granite pedestal remains as the statue was blown up by Irish republicans in 1956. John Henry Foley was the sculptor and it was unveiled by Earl Spencer in 1870.

    The marble slab is inscribed with the words---
    -George Wm. Frederick, seventh Earl of Carlisle, K.G
    Chief Secretary for Ireland, 1835 to 1841;
    Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1855-1858 and 1859 to 1864
    Born 1802. Died 1864.

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    FREE CONCERT ON A SUNDAY

    by davidjo Written Aug 7, 2015

    The bandstand is located in a beautiful hollow surrounded by trees and there are many benches to relax on during the summer weather. The bandstand is similar to a Tudor building and in the beginning of the 20th century Dublin United Tramways Company sponsored the brass band and paid them 4 pounds for their services. Many Dubliners would meet there on Sunday afternoons and join in the chorus of the more popular songs, but unfortunately the concerts came to an end at the beginning of the first world war when band members were called up for various duties. Since the 1990's bands normally play on Sunday afternoons but it is usually a military type of band.

    THE 19TH CENTURY BANDSTAND
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    AN OLD CASTLE THAT IS REDISCOVERED.

    by davidjo Written Aug 7, 2015

    Ashtown Castle is thought to have been constructed around 1430, but others think it was the 16th or 17th centuries, and has recently been renovated. It is in the same area as the visitors Center in Phoenix Park, and strangely enough it was hidden within another building until 1978. It is a 4 storey tower house on a 200 acre estate that was owned by John of Ashtown (JohnConnell), but later the castle was acquired by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland on behalf of the king in ordr to make the deer park bigger. Later it was incorporated into the lodge which was the residency of the Papal Nuncio until 1978. There used to be a series of tunnels underground from the lodge to other buildings so residents could travel safely at night. The castle is free to enter.

    ASHTOWN CASTLE
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    A HISTORY LESSON AT PHOENIX PARK

    by davidjo Written Aug 6, 2015

    I can really recommend spending some time at the visitors Center in Phoenix Park, particularly in the audio visual room where the story of the park is told and shown on a screen. Inside the center is a small museum where there are several interesting exhibits particularly the one in the photo above where the Duke of Ormonde is holding his big bird and admiring the deer. There is also an outdoor cafe there where visitors can have a rest and a snack.

    THE PARK'S CREATOR THE VISITORS CENTER CAFE AREA CANNON INFORMATION BOARD
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    THE VICTORIAN KITCHEN GARDEN

    by davidjo Written Aug 6, 2015

    The Victorian Kitchen garden in Phoenix Park is a two and half acre garden where vegetables, herbs and some flowers are grown, so visitors may see how it was done in the old days. This is situated in the grounds of the visitors center and visitors are free to walk around the garden. Gardeners keep the garden in excellent condition using their horticultural skills, and on the second Saturday of each month the public can meet the gardeners between 10.30 and 12.30 in the morning and hopefully they will receive some inspiration and tips before they go home.

    WELL LOOKED AFTER RHUBARB FLOWERS COVERED FOR PROTECTION THE LAYOUT
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    THE DEERFIELD RESIDENCY & USA AMBASSADOR

    by davidjo Written Aug 6, 2015

    The Deerfield Residency in Phoenix Park was built in 1776 and is now the official home of the U.S. Ambassador, but it was originally for the Chief Secretary for Ireland. From 1927 to 1960 it was actually the U.S. Embassy. Visitors can walk up to the gate but the house could not be seen from there. The house is situated on 62 acres of private grounds which is a stone's throw from the President of Ireland's residency. The most notable resident was Sir Winston Churchill.

    MAIN GATE LOOK WHO LIVES HERE JUST INSIDE THE MAIN GATE
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    DITCHES ARE BETTER THAN WALLS

    by davidjo Written Aug 6, 2015

    In several places in the Phoenix Park you can see defensive ditches which were made instead of walls. This is a particularly good idea as tourists can have a better view of the President's residency, especially from Chesterfield Avenue where there is a clear unobstructed view of his house.

    A DEFENSIVE DITCH
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    ARAS AN UACHTARAIN --- IRISH PRESIDENT'S PAD

    by davidjo Written Aug 6, 2015

    Áras an Uachtaráin ! Pronounce it if you can but easier to call it the president's house which was built in 1754 by Nathaniel Clements and was the Viceregal Lodge, residency of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland until 1922 when the Irish Free state was formed. In 1938 it became the official residency of the president. The main entrance is by the road leading from the Phoenix Monument but you can get a good view of the house while walking along the main thoroughfare that passes through the park.

    THE 260 YEAR OLD RESIDENCY MAIN ENTRANCE THE SIGN
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    PLENTY OF INFORMATION PLAQUES

    by davidjo Written Aug 6, 2015

    While walking along the paths in Phoenix park there are no shortage of information plaques that describe some of the old sites. A lot of historical information can be learnt from them including ponds that have been in existence since bombs were dropped there, historical information about the president's house and many more.

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    PLENTY TO SEE IN THE PHOENIX PARK

    by davidjo Written Aug 6, 2015

    No trip to Dublin would be complete without a visit to Phoenix Park which is one of the largest walled parks in any European city. The encircling wall is 11 kms long and encloses 1,750 acres. It was established in the 17th century and has many open grass areas, tree-lined avenues and 450 fallow deer. Charles II built the park as a hunting ground and that is why there is a wall around it, to stop the deer and pheasants from escaping. There are many points of interest in the park including a visitors center, Wellington Monument, the Presidents house, the American Ambassador's house, the Papal Cross, Dublin Zoo, and a few more.

    SOME FACTS YOU MAY NOT KNOW
    Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a neolithic community from 5,500 years ago.
    There is a burial ground going back 4,000 years ago where 3 makes were found, and also some urns with human remains in them nearby.
    The biggest viking cemetery outside Scandinavia is here with 40 graves
    Ashtown Castle is the oldest building in the park starting life as a tower in 1430
    40% of the bird species in Ireland can be found here
    Several murders have taken place in the park including the murder of British PM Gladstone’s personal secretary Lord Frederick Cavendish who was stabbed to death by Republicans on his first day of work.

    flower display the main road sports field walking path
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    THE TALLEST OBELISK IN EUROPE

    by davidjo Written Aug 6, 2015

    The tallest obelisk in Europe is the Wellington Monument which is 62 m high and built in 1861 at Phoenix Park. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington and is said to have been born in Dublin is commemorated here, and there are 4 bronze plaques that have been cast from cannons that were captured during the battle of Waterloo. Three of them have pictorial inscriptions of Wellington's life while the fourth has an inscription at the base of the column. This is well worth visiting as it is situated in open parkland just as you enter the main gate.

    WELLINGTON MONUMENT ONE OF THE PLAQUES ONE OF THE PLAQUES
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    PHOTOGRAPH THE DEER WHILE YOU CAN

    by davidjo Written Aug 6, 2015

    Fallow deer were introduced to the park 350 years ago and 450 of the them descend from the original herd. The deer are culled now and again to keep the number at 450 or below. I did see some deer when i first entered the park and thought it would not be a problem taking some photos later, but unfortunately i never saw anymore. I wonder where the other 445 were hiding.

    Make sure that you do not feed the deer, touch the deer, or approach the deer as it is prohibited

    WARNING SIGN
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    POPE JOHN PAUL II 'S CROSS

    by davidjo Written Aug 6, 2015

    On 29th September 1979 Pope John Paul II visited Dublin and the Papal Cross was erected for the occasion, and over a million people celebrated the open air mass. The white cross is 35 m high and built with steel girders but there was some difficulty when erecting it as it took several attempts and was only installed 2 weeks before the pope's arrival.

    THE PAPAL CROSS
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    THE PHOENIX ON THE COLUMN

    by davidjo Written Aug 6, 2015

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    The Earl of Chesterfield erected the Phoenix Monument in 1747. The Portland stone column is in the shape of a Corinthian column with a phoenix bird rising from the ashes at the top. It is located at a roundabout in the center of the park near the beautiful tree lined Chesterfield Avenue.
    It is disputed whether the Phoenix is appropriate because the Irish name for the park is Páirc an Fhionnuisce which comes from the Irish word fionn uisce which means clear water.

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