Merrion Square is one of five Georgian squares in Dublin. The construction of the square began in 1762 and continued for 30 years.

The earliest plan of the park shows a double line of trees around the perim- eter which was later enclosed by railings in the early years of the 19th century. A ‘Jardin Anglaise’ approach was adopted for the layout of the park with contoured grass areas, informal tree clumps, sunken curved paths and perimeter planting.

Merrion Square soon became a fashionable address for the aristocracy and the professional classes. The park was purchased from the Pembroke Estate by the Roman Catholic Church in 1930 for £100,000 as a site for a cathedral. However this project never materialised and in 1974 the then archbishop, Dermot Ryan, transferred the park to Dublin City Council for use as a public park. What was once the preserve of local privileged key-holders is now a public park to match the best in Europe.

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