There are two public parks in Dublin that the majority of Dubliners may be unaware of so they are often referred to as ’secret gardens’. One is Iveagh Gardens near Stephen’s Green and the other is the little park at Blessington Street Basin. Of the two parks Iveagh Gardens is the more impressive but the Blessington Street Park has much more wildlife and in my opinion is is much more interesting for children especially as there is an extensive playground. Even more important is the Fairy Tree, House and Garden … any child will be amazed when the find them.
Blessington Street Basin was a drinking water reservoir in Dublin which operated from 1810 until the 1970s, serving the north city. It became a public park in 1994.
The Blessington Street Basin was built in the early 19th century by the precursor to the Dublin City Council. Construction began about 1803 and finished in 1810, the plant was opened as the Royal George Reservoir, named in honour of King George III. The basin is rectangular, about 120 m long and 60 m wide basin took about 4 million gallons (15.1 million litres) of water. The water came from Lough Ovel in County Westmeath, carried by pipe along the Royal Canal through a 3 km long pipeline into the basin at the western end of the Blessington Street. From its construction, the site was used as a public park.
By 1869, the basin was not large enough for purpose, and water collection moved outside the city. The basin continued to serve the Jameson's and Powers' distilleries until the 1970s, and then went out of operation as a reservoir. There were worries about the stagnant water creating a typhoid outbreak in the late 1800s leading to the corporation wanting to fill in the basin and the stretch of water connecting the basin to the canal, this connection was finally filled in 1956.
In 1993 work began on the restoration of the site following a rejected proposal to extensively refurbish it in 1991. The refurbishment was carried out by the Dublin City Council aided by FÁS, and with financial support from the National Heritage Council and A.L.O.N.E. It was reopened as a park on the 4 November 1994. The site also includes a lodge house built in a Tudor style in 1811, and another modern council building.
Photography is my hobby and as my resources are limited it is difficult for me to build a site which includes the complete catalogue of my work which consists of more than 120,000 photographs. Recently a number of visitors have mentioned that they are finding it difficult to find specific photographs so I have added a Google Custom Search facility which will allow any interested party to carry out a keyword search of my catalogue. Example: If you want to find photographs of Public Art By John Kindness all you need to do is enter Public + Art + Kindness into the search-box below. When I tested the search engine I was amazed to discover that any word that I entered resulted in at least one relevant photograph - give it a try and see what you find.