Victorian and Edwardian public parks in Ireland

Posted on January 21st, 2009 by Charles Boot

Dr Joanna Brück of University College Dublin writes:

Remnant ironwork in an Irish Park
Remnant ironwork in an Irish Park

I am currently starting a research project focusing on the potential these hold for interpreting concepts of class, gender and cultural identity in the context of British imperialism. As heteropeias, landscapes in which orders of value could be marked out and idealised relationships created, parks gave material form to the discourse in which ideas of Ireland and its inhabitants were constructed.

The project aims to examine surviving elements of these historic landscapes including statuary, bandstands, gatehouses, ponds, terraces and drinking fountains, employing research methodologies and interpretative frameworks drawn from historical archaeology, cultural geography, architectural history and art history.  As an archaeologist and prehistorian, however, this is an entirely new research direction for me.  I am familiar with the work of Hazel Conway, Hilary Taylor and Harriet Jordan on British public parks, but would much appreciate any contacts or references that readers might be able to suggest, particularly on public parks of this date in the Americas, India, Australia or other former European colonies.

Joanna dot Bruck at ucd dot ie


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