|PALMERSTON PARK, RATHMINES, DUBLIN 6
At the south side of Palmerston Park during the English Civil war one of the most decisive battles in the history of Ireland took place in 1649.
James Butler, Duke of Ormonde, Viceroy of Ireland and a Royalist took up his position in Rathmines but his lack of organisation against the Parliamentarian Col Michael Jones and with a rumour that Cromwell had landed (false) the Royalists broke ranks and fled. Cromwell referred to the victory ‘This is an astonishing mercy, so great and seasonable, that indeed we are like them that dreamed’
The Battle of Rathmines if the outcome had been different might well have changed the course of Irish history. The area adjacent is listed on the maps as The Bloody Fields as so many were killed on the site.
The lands at Rathmines once formed a portion of the property of the See of Dublin, part of the Parish of St Peter. In 1382 William de Moenes came into possession of the Area. Later in the 17th century Sir George Radcliffe councillor to the then Viceroy built a great mansion in Rathmines and in the 18th century the lands came into the possession of the Temple family. In 1746 Henry first Viscount Palmerston came into the lands. The grounds at Palmerston were offered by Lord Palmerston’s Agents to the commissioners in 1881 as a public park on the condition that the commissioners would take into charge several f the roads on the Palmerston estate.
The park was railed in 1893 and landscaped by William Sheppard. The name for estate is said to have come from an ancient Irish name Stiguaire, attached to Palmerston in Co Dublin, the area from which Lord Palmerston took his title.
The Irish version of the road sign on Palmerston Road still bears this version.
Although the area was largely middle class and strongly Unionist in the early 20th century it also had a long tradition of Republicanism with many of those involved in 1916 living in the area.
In 1878 the Dublin Central Tramways Company ran a line to Palmerston Park.
The houses around Palmerston Park were built between 1870 and 1880 and all are protected structures overlooking the designed layout of the park.
Palmerston Public Park:
Designed by William Sheppard Landscape Gardener, of Dublin. William Sheppard was born of English parents on 18 April 1842 in Hamilton, Bermuda, where his father, a British soldier, was stationed. William trained and worked as a gardener in England before coming to Ireland when he was about twenty-nine or thirty. He was the probably best-known landscape architect in Ireland in the thirty years between 1880 and the First World War.
He died at home in Ranelagh on 11 December 1923 and was buried in Mount Jerome cemetery. (2) His wife, Jemima (née Tiller), also from Fordingbridge, whom he married in Arklow on 23 May 1872, had predeceased him in 1900. He commissioned a stained-glass window to her memory from Kempe & Co. of London, which was erected in the north choir aisle of St Patrick's cathedral, Dublin. Their son William Tiller Sheppard (b.1873) joined his father's landscape business.