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Saturday 20 April 2019

Welcome to medieval quarter

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Old city wall rebuilt in plan to rejuvenate heritageof capital

DUBLIN city bosses plan to resurrect the capital's heritage and create a medieval quarter between Christchurch and St Patrick's Cathedral.

An ambitious new plan hopes to restore parts of the city wall and build a civic museum and new open spaces in an effort to reinvigorate the city centre.

The walled city remained at the heart of Dublin until the 18th century when it fell gradually into economic decline as the city grew.

Now Dublin City Council want to restore what's left of the walls and build heritage in an effort to overcome the "uneven quality" of recent development.

The plan sees the creation of a new route linking Dublin Castle with Nicholas Street, following the line of the city wall and go past Geneval's Tower, off Bride Road, which is not accessible to the public.

Five sites which could be redeveloped had been identified which would help re-create a medieval setting and include provision of new public spaces. The sites are between Christchurch and St Patrick's, and Patrick Street and Dublin Castle.

The plan envisages creating routes through the area as well as public spaces and a city museum on St John's Lane, which would partially obscure the north front of Christ Church Cathedral.

The proposals are contained in the Ship Street/ Werburgh Street Urban Framework Plan, which says the key area at the historic core of Dublin has "significant historic fabric" but a "poor physical environment" with little connection to the city.

It says that the green spaces in that part of the city are not linked in a "useful way", and that pedestrian links are also poor.

However, it notes there are sites of "interesting local potential", and that this area of Dublin requires some special effort to recover what was once a strong physical character.

"Special efforts should be expended to recover lost history and building fabric in the area", it says. "Naming the extensive historic elements and activities of the quarter would have a beneficial effect on its future."

Other proposals include:

* Removing St Audoen's Park on the corner of High Street and Bridge Street and reinstating a sense of enclosure by building up the street frontages.

* Removal of the Peace Garden at the corner of Christchurch Place and Nicholas Street installed in 1991, but retain green space behind a new building planned for the site.

The Office of Public Works and Dublin City Council have agreed to a series of land swaps to implement the plan, which is hoped to attract more people into the area.

"It's to try and bring back the wall to the citizens of the city and recreate a sense of inside and outside the city", Dublin City Council Heritage Officer Donncha O'Dulaing said yesterday.

Some of the work may start next year.

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