Seminar on Dublin’s Victorian and Edwardian Parks


The Irish Georgian Society and the Irish Landscape Institute have arranged an all-day seminar on Victorian and Edwardian parks aimed at the landscape professional, the passionate gardener and the local historian alike. Madame Olda FitzGerald will open the seminar and speakers include: Margaret Gormley, Parks Superintendent of the Office of Public Works and Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, expert on London historic gardens; Dr. Joanna Brück, writer of a study of the development of Dublin’s parks; Rob Goodbody who will examine planning issues and park conservation; and Leslie Moore, Senior Parks Superintendent, Dublin City Council. Lunch in the RDS will be followed by a tour of nearby Herbert Park led by Dr. Mary Forrest of University College Dublin and Michael Noonan of Dublin City Council.

Price: €55 (including lunch) • Bookings can be made at or on 01 6767053

Presentations will include:

Overview of Dublin’s Inheritance of Public Parks
Margaret Gormley (Parks Superintendent, Office of Public Works)

Margaret Gormley is a graduate in landscape horticulture from UCD. She has worked in Fingal County Council; was in charge of St. Stephens Green for some 7 years – the first female to occupy that position- before assuming responsibility for the Phoenix Park. In 2011, she oversaw the production of a Conservation Management Plan for the Phoenix Park. Her responsibilities within the OPW include advising the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht on matters concerning horticulture and landscape.

A Social History of Dublin’s Victorian and Edwardian Parks
Dr. Joanna Brück (University College Dublin)

This presentation will consider the role played by parks (including landscaping, architecture and other features) in the creation of class, gender and colonial identities during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Dr Joanna Brück is a senior lecturer in the School of Archaeology at University College Dublin. Although a prehistorian by training, she has recently been carrying out research on Victorian and Edwardian parks (funded by the Heritage Council) and the archaeology of the 1916 Rising.

London’s Experience
Dr. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan (Landscape Architect)

Modern-day London abounds with a multitude of gardens, enclosed by railings and surrounded by houses, which attest to the English love of nature. These green enclaves, known as squares, are among the most distinctive and admired features of the metropolis and are England’s greatest contribution to the development of European town planning and urban form. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan will delve into the history, evolution, and social implications of squares, which have been an important element in the planning and expansion of London since the early 17th century. As an amenity that fosters health and well-being and a connection to the natural world, the square has played a crucial role in the development of the English capital and other European and American cities.
Dr. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan is a landscape architect with an international practice based in London. He is president of the London Parks and Gardens Trust, gardens adviser to Hampton Court Palace, and has recently redesigned Kensington Palace gardens in London. He is the author of The London Town Garden 1700-1840 (2001) and The London Square: gardens in the midst of town (2012), both published by Yale University Press.

Conservation and Dublin’s Victorian Parks
Rob Goodbody (Consultant Planner)

This presentation looks at the essential character of our Victorian parks and what measures are available to ensure that this character can be safeguarded.
Rob Goodbody is a historic building consultant based in Dublin. He spent many years as a planner in local authorities in Britain and Ireland prior to establishing his own business in 2003. He is author of a number of books, most recently The Metals: from Dalkey to Dun Laoghaire (2010) and has co-authored The Martello Towers of Dublin and Bloomfield Hospital 1812-2012, both published in 2012. He is currently working on part 3 of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas for Dublin city on behalf of the Royal Irish Academy.

Devising a Plan for Conserving Dublin’s Parks
Leslie Moore (Parks Superintendent, Dublin City Council)

Leslie Moore will focus on Dublin City Council’s plan for an Open Space Strategy, one of the key objectives of which will be to conserve the heritage of Dublin City’s parks and to enhance the visitor experience. He will also highlight some of the challenges the Local Authority faces in balancing the diverse needs of citizens in Dublin City.
Leslie Moore joined Dublin City Council as City Parks Superintendent at the end of February 2012. A graduate of UCD, where he studied Landscape Horticulture (B.Agr. Sc), Leslie also has a Masters in Local Government Management from the Institute of Public Administration. While he previously worked with the former Dublin County Council and South Dublin County Council, most recently, he worked in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, where he led the planning, design and development of a number of significant improvements to parks, heritage and visitor facilities notably in Killiney Hill Park, Cabinteely Park and Marlay Park.