A pleasant hour's stroll around one of Dublin City's best parks. Bushy Park is on two levels: the upper level is open parkland and the lower level, which forms part of the floodplain of the River Dodder, is mainly through mature woodland. The walk briefly exits the park to follow the pathway along the Dodder, which is one of the tributaries of the River Liffey. The park has numerous public amenities including a Nature Trail, Sports Pitches, Tennis Courts, Pavilions, Boules Green and a Waterfall leading to the Pond with its islands which are a habitat for a number of birds, including ducks, geese and swans.
Bushy Park came into being prior to 1700 when Arthur Bushe of Dangan, County Kilkenny, Secretary to the Revenue Commissioners, built the house known as “Bushes House” on a site of approximately 11 acres, which included a garden. After being sold on a number of occasions, the area eventually became the property of John Hobson of Tobber, County Dublin in 1772, when he changed its name to Bushy Park, possibly after the park in London of that name. In 1791, it was sold again, to Abraham Wilkinson, who added almost 100 acres to the estate and gave it as a dowry plus £10,000 to his only child, Maria, on her marriage to Robert Shaw, Junior, in 1796. The Shaws were connected with Bushy Park for the next 155 years until they sold it to Dublin Corporation in 1951. George Bernard Shaw was a distant relative of the Shaw family, his grandfather being a nephew of Sir Robert Shaw (1st Baronet).
In 1953 Dublin Corporation sold the residence with approximately 20 acres to the Sisters of the Religious of Christian Education – this included some woodland and pond areas which ideally should have remained with the Park. In 1991, the Sisters were approached with a view to selling back approximately 5 acres of their grounds so that the woodlands and ponds could be reintegrated into the Park. This they readily agreed and these lands together with the adjoining woodland and ponds are now a major attraction.
This is an easy walk on mostly flat ground. However, two sets of steps must be negotiated on account of the fact that the park is on two levels.
Bushy Park, River Dodder, dublin, ireland, City Park