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.

1311333850_0001On St. Stephen’s Green

  • 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.

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