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Timeless Styles and Traditions

The Garden Squares of Dublin

What is a garden square?  A long-existing city arrangement- a garden square is a communal garden found within a major city aligned on all four sides with typically rowhouses or townhouses facing the garden.

I am familiar with the famous Savannah Georgia squares and there are other gardens squares with homes in the United States.  Our squares were inspired by the famous garden squares in Europe; London, Dublin, and Paris.

Dublin Squares

I learned there are five Georgian Squares, Four Victorian and additional squares of varying periods SEE HERE.  The date range for Georgian: the three King Georges is 1714 to 1830. The Victorian Queen Victoria’s age is 1837 to 1901. And then her son Edward’s Edwardian range is 1901 to 1918.

Georgian Squres in Dublin:

South

Fitzsimmons Square

Merrion Square

St Stephens’s 

North 

Parnell Square

Mountjoy Square

Victorian Squares

Dartmouth Square

Belgrave Square

Pearse Square

Kenilworth Square

My first experience with a garden square was the   Square area of Dublin 6. Dublin is organized by postcodes.  Each postcode has specific numbered sections with communities assigned to that number.  SEE HERE

Dartmouth Square Dublin 6 is in part of Ranelagh near Rathmines.  John and I originally went there to visit his personal attorney regarding the purchase of property to add to the cottage in Oilgate. 

After our meeting, we walked around the square.  An old cast iron gate entrance across from her home ushered us into the grassed garden.  Nearby I found the wisteria-covered parabola which became the inspiration for our cottage garden walkway.

I was overcome with the old world beauty of the homes and the garden.  The area is surrounded by Victorian and Edwardian homes built in the early 1900s.  His attorney’s home, am many others in the area, was in the process of renovation. As we climbed the concrete steps, we were ushered in the attorney’s “rooms”.  

This is an area on the lower floor which physicians, attornies, and other wealthy businessmen kept as an office in the 1900s.  A physician or an attorney saw clients in this part of the home because there were not offices built in the city for the professions.  Due to mainly sanitary reasons, the physician did not routinely see patients in the hospital. This changed after the Industrial Revolution but in Dublin today there are still professionals who maintain this practice; attorneys, architects, to name a few.

The attorney’s rooms were typical for the time period, dark mahogany moldings, and trims, bay windows, but without the dark ornate features of the earlier Victoria with heavy drapes and wallpapers.  These rooms were more open, painted a warm cream, with furniture of that era. I was in love. These homes all have three or four stores with a large main staircase as the entry feature.

We were unaware of the renovations, but many people in that area tend to knock out the back of other homes and build open extensions for kitchens and sitting rooms. Leaving them with a small outdoor space at the end of the property ( see pix).  I watch many a transformation on the Dublin tv show “Room to Improve”.

Here is a sample of pictures from the Dartmouth Square

Another place we have driven by frequently but where I never walked about is the Georgian Fitzsimmons and Marrion Squares.  You have to remember that these squares and homes were built in the late 1700s and early 1800s. This is a time period when Dublin and all of Ireland was under British rule.  TheiBrirish aristocracy assigned to Ireland built these mansions in remembering those found in London. HISTORY HERE

How these beautiful buildings are homes to few families, businesses and small hotels, and government agencies now occupy these gorgeous buildings.  

When I first went to Dublin my friend Sharon took me to Georgian Square and I just loved the multi-colored doors.  After that trip, when John and I returned to Ireland, I began to take photos of what I felt was a unique Irish home features: doors, gates, and arches.  I have started to take photos of these and plan a photo book in the future.

If you ever get to the Dublin Squares, especially Fitswilliams and Merrion,  check out the architectural features of the iron window work and the door fanlights

As I said many new and old homeowners of these beauties are in the process of models.  I will have to win the lottery to ever consider such an idea. They cost anywhere from a half million to two million to buy and then expect to pay another half million to renovate.  I found a renovation online where they did knock out the back and put in glass for light. It is by the company Kingston/Lafferty. See the beauty of the place HERE

Hey guys thanks for the visit.  I really enjoyed writing this post.  I was blown away by the beauty and appreciation of these old beauties in Dublin.  I don’t know about you, but I will start buying lotto tickets upon my return to Ireland

What do you think of the Irish Garden Squares?  Leave a comment with your thoughts.

Talk soon

Take good care

Dee

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