Sunday 4 October 2020

Iveagh Gardens (Crumlin)

During the initial phases of lockdown I got to know Dublin a little better and found hidden enclaves such as the Iveagh Gardens off the Crumlin Road. In 1925 the Iveagh Trust resolved to build a suburban cottage scheme after a succession of city flats. A site of 30 acres approx. of open land was purchased from Messrs. A. Guinness on the Crumlin Road on the south-western outskirts of Dublin. It is a 
surprisingly secluded estate, reminiscent of garden-suburbs of English towns. Most residences face onto a circular tree-lined avenue, with a single entrance from Crumlin Road. 

This idyllic cul-de-sac off the Crumlin Rd built between 1926 -1936 was to house the Guinness workers. The architects were O’Callaghan & Webb, Dublin, formed between Lucius O’Callaghan and James Henry Webb in 1908. Eleven years later, in 1919, Louis Francis Giron also became a partner , although the practice continued to be known simply as O’Callaghan & Webb. Webb left to practise on his own in 1931, after which the name of the practice changed to O’Callaghan & Giron. The builder was Belfast-based H&J Martin who also built Arnotts Department store. The practice were placed second in the Tralee Carnegie Library competition in 1909 (which was eventually built to their design) and won the Dun Laoghaire Carnegie Library competition the following year. 


A total of 136 redbrick (first rows in Dolphin’s Barn) solid-built, semi-detached, two-storey family homes of four or five rooms fronted by iron railings with small gardens, built for £134,000. 


The intention of the Trust to provide dwellings not only in crowded neighbourhoods but in easy access to the centres of labour. 


The initial phrase consisted of 42 houses. These were occupied by 1927 by which a further 40 similar dwellings had been commissioned. By 1930 82 houses had been erected, 12 of these four-roomed and 70 five-roomed, accommodating a total of 426 people. The scheme was completed by 1936 providing a total of 136 houses, 52 with four rooms and 84 with five, and housing 637 people. 

The corner green spaces and railings survived the arrival of the private car. Today it’s a private estate but back when it was in control of the Iveagh Trust the tenants had to sign a contract to protect against damage to property or “intemperate conduct on the premises”.