The beautifully remodeled St Audoen’s Park at High Street was officially unveiled by Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Nial Ring at a ceremony on 14th March. The park had been closed over the past year while it was substantially redesigned in a project led by Dublin City Council Parks & Landscaping Services with the assistance of Dermot Foley Landscape Architects and contractors Moston Construction.
While St Audoen’s Park only dates to the 1980s, the area features some of the city’s oldest surviving structures including the most substantial section of the 12th century city walls and the atmospheric St Audoen’s Gate, and the medieval parish church of St Audoen – Dublin’s oldest church in continuous use.
The new landscaping integrated the park and the church grounds and provides universal access into the park and the OPW Visitor Centre and church. The main entrance of steps leads to a new forecourt area to the front of the West Door of St Audoen’s Church. The tower is one of two church towers that punctuate either end of historic Thomas Street (the other being the newly restored steeple of the former St James’s Church). The tower itself was also cleaned and repointed as part of the project.
A number of archaeological features, uncovered by the works, have been incorporated into the paths through the park including stone setts of a former laneway that ran through the area called Keysers Lane, medieval cobbles and some Georgian-era paving tiles. The park has also been beautifully planted and now includes a series of interactive sound-based installations for children, as well as a new memorial water feature, recalling the children who lost their lives in the events of Easter 1916. The park is also lit at night.
The St Audoen’s Park project is an action of The Liberties Greening Strategy and was part-funded by Fáilte Ireland under its Dubline investment strategy for the city centre.