The Dublin Civic Trust has organised a “Dublin Garden Squares Day” on Saturday the 27th of August 2011, which will see a number of free events in and around St. Stephen’s Green, the Iveagh Gardens, Merrion Square, Parnell Square, the Garden of Remembrance, Mountjoy Square, and Dublin’s only private square garden, Fitzwillam Square.
- the OPW gardener will be giving a tour of the Green (meet at Fusiliers’ Arch entrance at the top of Grafton Street at 11am);
- there will be a simultaneous chess exhibition with chess grandmaster Alexander Baburin from 12 to 2pm;
- the Lakeside Summer House will be open;
- the Dublin Concert Band will perform at the Bandstand at 12.30pm;
- there will be a tango dance demonstration by Tango Argentino at the Bandstand at 2.30pm;
- outside the Green, there will be a historical and architectural tour of St. Stephen’s Green with Stephen Coyne at 2.30pm.
On Merrion Square—
- 10am-5pm – Number 29, ESB Georgian House Museum open for free guided tours;
- 10am-5pm – Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square open for guided tours of the largest house on Merrion Square, includes an opportunity to see the exhibition Pier Luigi Nervi: Project and Structure in association with the Italian Institute of Culture;
- 10.30am – Walking tour with Geraldine Walsh, Dublin Civic Trust, examining the development of the square and the evolution of its architectural building patterns. (Meet at Oscar Wilde statue.)
- 11am-5pm – Traditional crafts demonstration with Eoin Donnelly and hand carving with Terence McSweeney. (East side of the Square.)
- 11am-5pm – The Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland “open house” at Number 63, Merrion Square. Explore this fine townhouse and see its recently restored Georgian back garden.
- 12pm – The Natural History Museum Keeper Nigel Monaghan will give a walking tour outlining the history of the Museum. No booking required but places limited. This tour is not wheelchair accessible and is oriented at adults.
- 12pm – The Discovery Programme will explain their work towards advanced research in Irish archaeology.
- 1pm – Punch & Judy Theatre with Custard Pie (Conor Lambert) East side of the Square.
- 2pm-3.30pm – The Jay Asolo Dance Academy dance exhibition and masterclass for children. (East Side of Square.)
- 3pm – The Natural History Museum family tour. No booking required but places limited. Not wheelchair accessible.
- 3pm – Guided Garden tour of Merrion Square, its trees and shrubs – meet at Oscar Wilde statue.
- 3.30pm-5pm – Live Music on the east side of Square.
There will also be refreshment stall and Mr. Balloonatics making balloon shapes for children.
In the Iveagh Gardens—
1.15pm – Tour with Rebecca Jeffares, Dublin Civic Trust, of the history of this Victorian winter garden designed by Ninian Niven in 1865. Meet at the corner of of Clonmel Place and Harcourt Street at 1.15pm.
On Fitzwilliam Square—
- 12pm – Historical and architectural walking tour with Graham Hickey, Dublin Civic Trust – meet at Pembroke Street corner of the Square at the Baggot Street end.
- 1pm-2.30 – Learn the art of watercolour with artist Veronica Heywood. All welcome, materials provided.
- 1.30pm-3pm – Lawn bowling class for all to join in.
- 1.30pm-3.30pm – Live music with the Squares Day Trio, jazz, blues and favourites.
- 3.00pm – Historical and architectural walking tour with Graham Hickey, Dublin Civic Trust – meet at Pembroke Street corner of the Square at the Baggot Street end.
On Parnell Square—
12pm – Architect James Kelly will guide you through the fascinating history and architecture of the first of Dublin’s 18th Century garden squares. Meet at the main gate to the Garden of Remembrance.
Parnell Square also has a number of surrounding attractions: Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, the Irish Writers Museum and the nearby James Joyce Centre (North Great George’s Street).
On Mountjoy Square—
- 11am-5pm – The Mountjoy Square Photographic Competition. Stroll around the square and enjoy the photographic exhibition displayed on the park railings. (Judging will take place at 3.30pm by artist Eve Parnell.)
- 11am – Historical and architectural walking tour of Mountjoy Square including visits to some of its elegant townhouses with Karin O’Flanagan. BOOKING ESSENTIAL contact Aileen on (01) 819-8592; meet outside 54 Mountjoy Square (west side).
- 1pm – Face painting and Caribbean music
- 2pm – Lá na gCrann with Forest Friends. Celebrate the International Year of Forests. Forest Friends will demonstrate the biodiversity of native Irish tress, particularly the oak, which boasts the richest biodiversity. Includes a tree walk and tree identification and bark tracings for children.
- 2.30pm – Historical walking tour of Mountjoy Square with local resident Ruadhán Mac Eoin
- 2pm-4pm – The Eco Adventure leaders will entertain children with gaelic park games and archery.
- 2pm – Hurley maker David Moran will demonstrate the ancient skill of making hurleys.
- 4pm-5pm – A Mid Summer Night’s Dream (highlights) performed by Fast and Loose Theatre Group followed by live music.
For more details, click here.