Created By: ULSARA
Dartmouth Square was the last 19th-century square to be developed. It was originally part of the Darley Estate and is first mentioned in 1865 when the development of the square began. It is shown on an OS map in 1866 as a field and by 1882 the outlines of a proposed square and park indicate some houses on the East side.
By 1909 the full layout is complete, including the park with four gates, trees, a perimeter border and paths on all sides.
The park was developed as part of the terraces surrounding it and was intended for the sole use of residents of the square. However, within a short number of years, it was already a financial burden on residents for its upkeep
1926 – the park is leased from the Darley Estate for use as the Loreto Schools hockey pitch. This situation continued until the 1950’s, at which time the costs of maintenance again became a problem and for several years the park became overgrown and began slipping into a semi-derelict state.
In 1986 The lease of Dartmouth Square was transferred from the Loreto sisters to Dublin Corporation, but no action was taken to maintain the park.
1987 –The Residents Association approached the Lord Mayor, Mrs. Carmencita Hederman (Lord Mayor 1987-1988) and thanks to her intervention, this led to the city manager Mr. Frank Feehily and his office becoming involved with the local community in addressing the issue of the state of the park.
Dublin Corporation entered into a 10 year lease and began its landscape renewal scheme and opened it as a public park.
1997- When the lease expired, inconclusive talks took place between the Darley Estate and Dublin City Council, although DCC continued to maintain the park.
The residents were of the opinion that DCC had ownership of the park, until in 2005, the freehold was purchased, from P.J Darley, a descendent of the square’s builder, by a businessman.
2006- The businessman locked the gates and began to operate it as a car park. The High Court blocked the attempt to use the land as a public car park, and An Bord Pleanála issued a compulsory purchase order.
When the Square was designated an Architectural Conservation Area in 2008 this limited the type of development that can take place.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Upper Leeson Street Area Dublin Walking Tour