THE High Hill Park in New Ross will open to the public on Thursday, October 10th.
The park – featuring 200 plus steps and two hand carved thrones – will be officially opened by Minister of Justice, Social Protection, Community and Rural Development Heather Humphreys at an event with music and some surprises.
New Ross Municipal District director Eamonn Hore said the finishing touches are being put on the park. The name of the park has been etched in stone at the park landing area in a style that nods to the area’s medieval and Celtic past. The illustration and text for three information signs are being worked on, along with two shields which will feature the coats of arms of William Marshal and Isobel de Clare and will be located beside the thrones midway up the park.
Mr Hore said some planting remains to be completed, while surfacing works in Chapel Lane are being finalised. A historic canon has been moved to more accurately reflect where it was originally set.
The park was due to open to the public on Wednesday, September 14 but will now open in three weeks’ time.
"The extra days will give us the time to finish it. It’s nice that a full minister can attend,” Mr Hore said, confirming that the cost of the park will end up in the region of €1.5m this year.
Around €20,000 was spent on the thrones, while up to €200,000 will be required for the statues of Isobel de Clare and William Marshal.
A lectern will be erected to outline their history and there will be three information signs.
Telling the love story of the medieval power couple in Celtic symbols, the ambitious park references the location of a merchant house in an area underneath where the thrones are located.
The park links into the garden and the paved area outside of St Mary's Church, where de Clare's heart is reputed to have been buried.