The public park hits The Pale, Dublin’s emergence into modernity.

(Rory O’Donnell 113516707)

Dublin, the primate city of Ireland, the raiding vikings settled here in 831 AD and fought off the local Irish until 1014 AD. Then the English began to make their influences felt upon the city from 1170 and thus the city became part of the British empire right up until 1922, but empires come and go the city still remains. Due to the Liffey Dublin has a rich history as a settlement site spanning further beyond that even of the vikings. Maps of the cityscape from this period of its history is based predominantly on speculation and interpenetration of the old viking section on the south banks of the Liffey One of the earliest thought map is John Speeds titled “Dubline” dated 1610 (Fig.i).

Dublin, 1610

Here we can see the Anglo- Norman influences upon the city, defensive city walls enclosing the city creating the barrier between outside the city and that which is the city core. Although one can see vast expanses of open green areas, one shouldn’t mistake them for public spaces, on the contrary. These were regions under control from local ruling aristocrats, only available to the wealthy of society.


Dublin, 1764

In (Fig.ii) a map by Jacques Nicolas titled “Plan De LaVille De Dublin” (1764) one can see the influence of mainland Europe creep in upon Dublin right into the cityscape with the emergence of St. Stephans Green, one of the oldest urban parks in the world (the large square to the bottom right of the map).

Dublin, 1836


Dublin, 1883
The influence of modernity slowly moves into the Dublin sphere. This emergence is seen through the development of public space within the urban city and increases in tandem with the vast urban expansion. This increase is seen in the arrival of both Merrion Square and the significantly smaller Fitzwilliam Park. Their arrival is seen in (Fig.iii) in the map created by Chapman and Hall in 1836. Note again further urban expansion in (Fig.iiii) a map produced in 1883 by Letts, Son & Co. These mark Dublin’s entrance into the teeming metropolis which it is seen as today and its ties to modernity traced through the transformation of these public spaces.


David Rumsey Historical map collection (


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