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The History of Herbert Park

The 48 acre Herbert Park is right on our doorstep, how lucky are we? Guests can take in the stunning views of the park while enjoying a bite to eat in the award winning Pavilion Restaurant or from the comfort of their bedroom. 

Herbert Park is one of Dublin’s oldest and most popular parks. The park opened to the public in 1911 after being used as the location for the Dublin International Exhibition in 1907. The purpose of the exhibition was intended to improve the trade of Irish goods.

William Dennehy, William Martin Murphy and James Shanks were just some of the people who helped create the Exhibition. The Dublin International Exhibition lasted for 6 months and had between 2.5 and 3 million people visiting including a Royal visit from King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria.

The Exhibition closed on the 9th of November, however more committee meetings were held after. Over the next 18 months they sold off the building materials, but a disagreement between the Pembroke Urban District Council and the International Exhibition Company arose over the clearing of Herbert Park. The disagreement was settled in court with Pembroke District Council receiving £740 from the International Exhibition Company.  

Herbert Park is full of history, in July 1909 a gardener and overseer for Herbert Park was sought after along with plans for the gardener’s residence. That December a competition was advertised to design the land of Herbert Park. Designers were asked to submit a scheme along with the cost. In March 1910 Messers J. Cheal & Sons, a leading firm of landscape gardeners and nurserymen at that time were announced as the winners and a prize of £50 was awarded.

On 19th of August 1911 Herbert Park was formally opened by the Lord Aberdeen, the Lord Lieutenant as a public park. In 1912 a cast iron drinking fountain was erected and a double row of Wheatley Elms were planted along Herbert Park road.

In 1917 49 allotment plots were created and 51 applications for the allotment plots were received by the council. In 1918 Herbert Park received 3rd place out of 21 in the allotments garden competition. In 1984 the Wheatley Elms which were planted along Herbert Park road fell due to disease so were replaced with Hornbeam Carpinus betulus Fastigiata to mark the first national Tree week in 1985.

In 1997 a new pedestrian entrance to Herbert Park was constructed as part of the redevelopment of Johnston, Mooney and O’Brien’s bakery into Herbert Park Lane which consists of Herbert Park Hotel, apartments and offices.

In 1999 Herbert Park Lane development won the “Urban Planning Award” which was presented by the Irish Planning Institute. 2007 marked the 100 year anniversary of the Dublin International Exhibition in Herbert Park so in commemoration of “The Great White Fair” The Herbert Park Exhibition of 1907, written by Brian Siggins was first published.

Today Herbert Park has a number of facilities including a duck pond, 8 tennis courts, bowling green, 2 playgrounds, 3 football pitches, croquet lawn, a synthetic sports pitch and allotments so there is something for everyone, both young and old.