St. Stephen’s Green Dublin

Named after St Stephen’s Church and leper hospital that was sited in the vicinity of Mercer Street, the Green (as it is popularly known) is first shown on a map in 1655 when it is shown without boundaries. By the 17th century, it consisted of about 60 acres with access from a lane that later became Grafton Street. In 1664, the Corporation marked out twenty-seven acres and divided the remainder into lots for development, and by 1669 it was surrounded by a high stone wall.

By the 18th century, the four malls outside the Green had different names – North was Beaux Walk, South was Leeson’s Walk, East was Monk’s Walk, West was French Walk. The principal entrance to the park was directly opposite York Street. In 1814, Commissioners were appointed to improve the square, and enclose it with gates and railings, and only allow access to householders who paid a Guinea a year. In 1877 Sir Arthur Guinness, later Lord Ardilaun, engineered an Act of Parliament to place the area under the control of the Board of Works and re-opened it to the public in 1880.