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2_From its creation in 1836 this storied courthouse
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Image by Jim Surkamp
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POST: The Lively Odyssey of the "John Brown" Courthouse by Jim Surkamp
civilwarscholars.com/?p=13850 5056 words

VIDEO: The Lively Odyssey of the "John Brown"Courthouse
www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zMNnuFOivE. TRT: 15:31.

Made possible with the generous support of American Public University System, providing an affordable, quality, online education. The video and post do not reflect any modern-day policies or positions of American Public University System, and their content is intended to encourage discussion and better understanding of the past. More:

Summary:

1_The Lively_Oddyssey
2_From its creation in 1836 this storied courthouse
From its creation in 1836, this storied courthouse was the focus of the world during the trial of the John Brown raiders in October-November, 1859; then a casualty of shells and minie balls October 18, 1863, then again August 22nd, 1864, and scavenged constantly by souvenir-hunting Union passers-through, reducing it to a roofless, nearly floorless wreck in 1865 – as one wrote “a cesspool from which hope would spring eternal.” In a herculean effort of defiance and grit, the townspeople scraped together some ,000 to build it again and eventually would get all the county legal functions back into this courthouse from the new opulent, magisterial courthouse built in Shepherdstown by Rezin Davis Shepherd. Then it achieved greatness by having its second treason trial – said to be the only American courthouse with that pedigree – with the trial of miners leader, Bill Blizzard and many others, in 1922.

The Lively Odyssey of the “John Brown” Courthouse

3_Charles Washington loved his town
4_Jefferson County was born in 1801
Charles Washington loved his town – Charlestown. He promised his neighbors: “Make me a new county and I’ll give you a site for a courthouse.” So Charles died in 1799 and Jefferson County was born in 1801; and a small, commodious courthouse went up on the northeast corner of the public square of Charlestown. A bigger, ”born-again” courthouse went up in 1836. Mssrs. Lackland,

5_courthouse went up in 1836
Douglass, and Kennedy helped to buy a 0 parcel just to the north owned by Andrew Hunter, a lawyer. This symbol of town pride reigned as the B&O railroad brought business to the region from Baltimore and Ohio – until the trial in 1859 of John

6_John Brown for high treason
7_right up until his death
Brown for high treason for his raid on the federal armory in Harper’s Ferry. A nation tearing, but not quite divided was riveted on the downstairs courtroom where wounded, but unbending Brown spoke his cause – right up to his death.

8_records whisked away to safety
9_Thomas_A_Moore
The county’s written memory – deeds, wills, marriages, records – all were whisked away to safety in Lexington, Virginia by County Clerk Thomas A. Moore as the war began.

10_swept over the county shooting galloping
11_raiding pigpens
Blueocoats and graycoats all swept over the county, shooting, galloping, ducking, raiding pigpens, hayfields, kitchen pantries, as the local, enslaved blacks either caught a ride out following the bluecoats or stayed even closer to the farms and homes they’d help to maintain and build.

12_The_Courthouse_Is_Almost_Lost
1863: The Courthouse almost lost

13_On October 18 1863
On October 18, 1863, Confederate General John Imboden surrounded the town with his some 2,000 men and eight pieces of artillery

14_Confederate Gen John Imboden
Imboden shelled the courthouse when its occupiers, some 375 volunteers in the Union’s 9th Maryland infantry regiment, refused to surrender.

The proud courthouse would fall with the South into ruin. On October 18th, 1863, Confederate General John Imboden surprised a Union garrison, commanded by Lt. Col. Benjamin Simpson in Charlestown.

15_ Union Col. Benjamin Simpson
(Simpson testified later:)
“I went out and saw a man approaching on horseback with a flag of truce in his hand. ‘Halt! What do you want?’ – ‘General Imboden demands the unconditional surrender of the town.’ ‘If he wants it tell him to come and take it.’ In about five minutes, the gentleman came back. ‘General Imboden requests that you remove all the women and children from the houses in the vicinity of the courthouse and jail, as he intends to shell the town.’ ‘This shall be done, but it will take about an hour. You must think we are foolish.’

16_a shell struck
17_a third shotA shell struck one corner of it and glancing from against the log pailisade exploded. Every shot they fired struck the courthouse. A third shot entered it and exploding in the palisade of the upper story wounded the adjutant (who later died) and one private. There were from ten to twenty shells struck and exploded in the courthouse and around it.

18_Simpson reported 250 men
Simpson reported 250 – or about half – of his men were “wounded, killed, or missing.”

19_August 21st-22nd 1864
August 21st-22nd, 1864: Federals are routed back again through Charlestown

Sunday, August 21st, 1864: (James E. Taylor), an artist with General Sheridan’s Army, dined at Sarah Bell’s Sappington Hotel, near the courthouse and after checking his stabled horses, he noticed the Union infantry marching past. “We passed to the courthouse to view the 6th and 8th Corps after their arduous work in holding Early in check on the Smithfield Pike. It would

20_require an inspired pen
require an inspired pen to truly picture the intensified emotion and gloomy silence that pervaded the ranks of the muskateers as they moved by the old temple of justice in the growing night – all in marked contrast to their elastic steps on a bright

21_inspired the song John Browns Body
morning a few days earlier, when – with waving banner, martial music and voices that inspired the song – “John Brown’s Body is a harbinger of victory.”

Monday, August 22nd, 1864, Sappington Hotel:
“We could hear the clatter of horses tearing like mad down the Pike and whistling minies splashing against the courthouse wall. Shells began exploding about, the enemy having gotten a battery in position on the west end of town. We whirled wildly away and down a side street in preference to joining the stampeding bluecoats on the bullet-swept street.

22_General Andersons infantry
General Anderson’s infantry and General Fitzhugh Lee’s cavalry were driving General Wilson and Alfred N. Duffie’s cavalry divisions from the town and established a line beyond it.

23_The courthouse and the county were a ruin
The courthouse and the county were a ruin in 1865.

23a_blacks either struggled with their new freedom
When the war ended and soldiers on both sides limped or wandered home and, blacks either struggled with their new freedom in an unsympathetic, impoverished South or started anew in the North, the courthouse in Charlestown stood a defiled ruin of shattered lifeways, a broken bridge to the past.

24_Northern writer John Trowbridge
Northern writer John Trowbridge arrived in Charlestown in the fall of 1865 and visited the site of the courthouse:

24a_abandoned rats toads
A short walk up into the centre of the town took us to the scene of John Brown’s trial. It was a consolation to see that the jail had been laid in ashes, and that the court-house, where the mockery of justice was performed, was a ruin abandoned to rats and toads. Four mossy white brick pillars, still standing, supported a riddled roof, through which God’s blue sky and gracious sunshine smiled. The main portion of the building had been literally torn to pieces. In the floorless hall of justice, rank weeds were growing. Names of Union soldiers were scrawled along the wall. No torch had been applied to the wood-work, but the work of destruction had been performed by the hands of hilarious soldier-boys ripping up floors and pulling down laths and joists to the tune of ‘John Brown’ – the swelling melody of the song and the accompaniment of crashing partitions, reminding the citizens who thought to have destroyed the old hero, that his soul was marching on.

25_Shepherdstowns brand new courthouse
Useless as a keeper of the sacred records, the County Courthouse was officially moved to Shepherdstown’s brand-new courthouse, built from the generous coin of Rezin Davis Shepherd.

26_Charlestowns old courthouse stood naked
Image courtesy Lloyd Osterdorf Estate
Charlestown’s old courthouse “stood naked, disgraced,” reflecting the Town’s broken spirit. The courthouse and jail had been picked over for four years by Union soldiers and souvenir-hunters, leaving just the bare walls of the stone courthouse.

An 1869 visitor from Chicago walked down Charlestown’s streets: “The ruined courthouse and jail have been despoiled by soldiers to make quarters and tens of thousands of men have marched through Charlestown singing ‘John Brown’s Body lies mouldering in the grave, his soul is marching on.’ The courthouse maintains its walls and outlines; and the four brick and plastered Doric columns are still standing. But the roof is reduced to a few beams. The whole interior is torn out. and the edifice now only has one floor, a cellar, and, to speak truthfully, the cesspool of all the vagrants of the village. To look into the interior is to feel revolted, yet to say: ‘This place is accursed.’”

27_But pride and hope spring eternal
But pride and hope spring eternal, even from a cesspool. Charlestown’s town pride was lit by a scheme of Shepherdstown leaders to buy up and forever prevent the old courthouse from rising again from the ashes. (With) that move blocked, Charlestown’s artisans and leaders scraped together a plan to rebuild their courthouse at half of what they believed was the price for the Shepherdstown structure, trying to keep the budget for their courthouse at less than ,000. And they succeeded, coming in at ,500.

28_State Legislature siding with returning the county seat
29_a handsome, deep toned bell
Then in August, 1871, with the State Legislature siding with returning the county seat to Charlestown, Charlestown worked and plastered and sawed, hammered and poured and painted – until on December 21st, 1872, Mr. Woodman of the Howard Watch & Clock Company of Boston eased the beautiful clock onto the courthouse cupola, aided by a handsome, deep-toned bell, courtesy of the Troy Manufacturing Company.

30_courtesy Troy Manufacturing Company
31_Our church going friends
“Our church-going friends,” wrote Mr. (John S.) Gallaher, the editor of The Virginia Free Press, “will have an opportunity of noting the time for preparing for church on time by the clear, distinct tones of the clock.”

Fed up with the droves of tourists wanting to see the John Brown courtroom, the new building was designed so that it had offices on the first floor in its place.

32_one of three circuit stops
Moreover, for almost the next four decades, the elegant courtroom upstairs was used as only one of three circuit stops for the state Supreme Court of Appeals.

A visitor in September, 1894, wrote: Charles Town, WV (Named now made into two words-JS) contrasts most favorably with Harper’s Ferry, being as neat and thrifty as the other is shabby. Of course, you drive at once to the courthouse which is, partly, the building in which John Brown was tried. The walls cover the same space, and the pillars in front are in the same position, although higher; and walking through the lower hall to the rear, you can pass over the very space John Brown’s mattress lay. But all the lower floor is now devoted to offices and the courtroom is up one flight.

33_smoking a corncob pipe
Standing in the doorway was a pleasant-looking gentleman, apparently forty-five years of age, smoking a corn-cob pipe and, in it, the fragrant, natural-leaf.

34_The 20th Century
The 20th Century

As time went on, business went on. The courthouse grew bigger, adding an annex in 1910. A young “Bud” Morgan remembered Charles Town in the nineteen-teens. (He wrote): A great sight each summer day was the row of Confederate veterans, sitting on the east end of the courthouse wall. About twelve to fifteen of them gathered there every day – some in tattered uniforms, some missing an arm or a leg, but all happy and cheerful, joking and kidding with all who passed by.

35_most highly honored and respected men
36_my grandfather William A Morgan
They were the most highly honored and respected men in the County. I was a favorite with them because some had served in the 1st Virginia cavalry, of which my grand-father, William A. Morgan, was colonel.

37_Miners Leader Bill Blizzard
38_women demurely vied
At another celebrated treason trial in this building – that of miner-leader, Bill Blizzard in 1922 – the town’s women demurely vied with news reporters for the prized 150 seats in the courtroom.

39_Juries still give verdicts there
Juries still give verdicts there. The gavel still drops, and lives of all kinds are thus changed forever at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

35_most highly honored and respected men
beautiful small kitchen design
Image by Jim Surkamp
SCROLL DOWN TO READ THE SCRIPT WITH NUMBERED IMAGES

POST: The Lively Odyssey of the "John Brown" Courthouse by Jim Surkamp
civilwarscholars.com/?p=13850 5056 words

VIDEO: The Lively Odyssey of the "John Brown"Courthouse
www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zMNnuFOivE. TRT: 15:31.

Made possible with the generous support of American Public University System, providing an affordable, quality, online education. The video and post do not reflect any modern-day policies or positions of American Public University System, and their content is intended to encourage discussion and better understanding of the past. More:

Summary:

1_The Lively_Oddyssey
2_From its creation in 1836 this storied courthouse
From its creation in 1836, this storied courthouse was the focus of the world during the trial of the John Brown raiders in October-November, 1859; then a casualty of shells and minie balls October 18, 1863, then again August 22nd, 1864, and scavenged constantly by souvenir-hunting Union passers-through, reducing it to a roofless, nearly floorless wreck in 1865 – as one wrote “a cesspool from which hope would spring eternal.” In a herculean effort of defiance and grit, the townspeople scraped together some ,000 to build it again and eventually would get all the county legal functions back into this courthouse from the new opulent, magisterial courthouse built in Shepherdstown by Rezin Davis Shepherd. Then it achieved greatness by having its second treason trial – said to be the only American courthouse with that pedigree – with the trial of miners leader, Bill Blizzard and many others, in 1922.

The Lively Odyssey of the “John Brown” Courthouse

3_Charles Washington loved his town
4_Jefferson County was born in 1801
Charles Washington loved his town – Charlestown. He promised his neighbors: “Make me a new county and I’ll give you a site for a courthouse.” So Charles died in 1799 and Jefferson County was born in 1801; and a small, commodious courthouse went up on the northeast corner of the public square of Charlestown. A bigger, ”born-again” courthouse went up in 1836. Mssrs. Lackland,

5_courthouse went up in 1836
Douglass, and Kennedy helped to buy a 0 parcel just to the north owned by Andrew Hunter, a lawyer. This symbol of town pride reigned as the B&O railroad brought business to the region from Baltimore and Ohio – until the trial in 1859 of John

6_John Brown for high treason
7_right up until his death
Brown for high treason for his raid on the federal armory in Harper’s Ferry. A nation tearing, but not quite divided was riveted on the downstairs courtroom where wounded, but unbending Brown spoke his cause – right up to his death.

8_records whisked away to safety
9_Thomas_A_Moore
The county’s written memory – deeds, wills, marriages, records – all were whisked away to safety in Lexington, Virginia by County Clerk Thomas A. Moore as the war began.

10_swept over the county shooting galloping
11_raiding pigpens
Blueocoats and graycoats all swept over the county, shooting, galloping, ducking, raiding pigpens, hayfields, kitchen pantries, as the local, enslaved blacks either caught a ride out following the bluecoats or stayed even closer to the farms and homes they’d help to maintain and build.

12_The_Courthouse_Is_Almost_Lost
1863: The Courthouse almost lost

13_On October 18 1863
On October 18, 1863, Confederate General John Imboden surrounded the town with his some 2,000 men and eight pieces of artillery

14_Confederate Gen John Imboden
Imboden shelled the courthouse when its occupiers, some 375 volunteers in the Union’s 9th Maryland infantry regiment, refused to surrender.

The proud courthouse would fall with the South into ruin. On October 18th, 1863, Confederate General John Imboden surprised a Union garrison, commanded by Lt. Col. Benjamin Simpson in Charlestown.

15_ Union Col. Benjamin Simpson
(Simpson testified later:)
“I went out and saw a man approaching on horseback with a flag of truce in his hand. ‘Halt! What do you want?’ – ‘General Imboden demands the unconditional surrender of the town.’ ‘If he wants it tell him to come and take it.’ In about five minutes, the gentleman came back. ‘General Imboden requests that you remove all the women and children from the houses in the vicinity of the courthouse and jail, as he intends to shell the town.’ ‘This shall be done, but it will take about an hour. You must think we are foolish.’

16_a shell struck
17_a third shotA shell struck one corner of it and glancing from against the log pailisade exploded. Every shot they fired struck the courthouse. A third shot entered it and exploding in the palisade of the upper story wounded the adjutant (who later died) and one private. There were from ten to twenty shells struck and exploded in the courthouse and around it.

18_Simpson reported 250 men
Simpson reported 250 – or about half – of his men were “wounded, killed, or missing.”

19_August 21st-22nd 1864
August 21st-22nd, 1864: Federals are routed back again through Charlestown

Sunday, August 21st, 1864: (James E. Taylor), an artist with General Sheridan’s Army, dined at Sarah Bell’s Sappington Hotel, near the courthouse and after checking his stabled horses, he noticed the Union infantry marching past. “We passed to the courthouse to view the 6th and 8th Corps after their arduous work in holding Early in check on the Smithfield Pike. It would

20_require an inspired pen
require an inspired pen to truly picture the intensified emotion and gloomy silence that pervaded the ranks of the muskateers as they moved by the old temple of justice in the growing night – all in marked contrast to their elastic steps on a bright

21_inspired the song John Browns Body
morning a few days earlier, when – with waving banner, martial music and voices that inspired the song – “John Brown’s Body is a harbinger of victory.”

Monday, August 22nd, 1864, Sappington Hotel:
“We could hear the clatter of horses tearing like mad down the Pike and whistling minies splashing against the courthouse wall. Shells began exploding about, the enemy having gotten a battery in position on the west end of town. We whirled wildly away and down a side street in preference to joining the stampeding bluecoats on the bullet-swept street.

22_General Andersons infantry
General Anderson’s infantry and General Fitzhugh Lee’s cavalry were driving General Wilson and Alfred N. Duffie’s cavalry divisions from the town and established a line beyond it.

23_The courthouse and the county were a ruin
The courthouse and the county were a ruin in 1865.

23a_blacks either struggled with their new freedom
When the war ended and soldiers on both sides limped or wandered home and, blacks either struggled with their new freedom in an unsympathetic, impoverished South or started anew in the North, the courthouse in Charlestown stood a defiled ruin of shattered lifeways, a broken bridge to the past.

24_Northern writer John Trowbridge
Northern writer John Trowbridge arrived in Charlestown in the fall of 1865 and visited the site of the courthouse:

24a_abandoned rats toads
A short walk up into the centre of the town took us to the scene of John Brown’s trial. It was a consolation to see that the jail had been laid in ashes, and that the court-house, where the mockery of justice was performed, was a ruin abandoned to rats and toads. Four mossy white brick pillars, still standing, supported a riddled roof, through which God’s blue sky and gracious sunshine smiled. The main portion of the building had been literally torn to pieces. In the floorless hall of justice, rank weeds were growing. Names of Union soldiers were scrawled along the wall. No torch had been applied to the wood-work, but the work of destruction had been performed by the hands of hilarious soldier-boys ripping up floors and pulling down laths and joists to the tune of ‘John Brown’ – the swelling melody of the song and the accompaniment of crashing partitions, reminding the citizens who thought to have destroyed the old hero, that his soul was marching on.

25_Shepherdstowns brand new courthouse
Useless as a keeper of the sacred records, the County Courthouse was officially moved to Shepherdstown’s brand-new courthouse, built from the generous coin of Rezin Davis Shepherd.

26_Charlestowns old courthouse stood naked
Image courtesy Lloyd Osterdorf Estate
Charlestown’s old courthouse “stood naked, disgraced,” reflecting the Town’s broken spirit. The courthouse and jail had been picked over for four years by Union soldiers and souvenir-hunters, leaving just the bare walls of the stone courthouse.

An 1869 visitor from Chicago walked down Charlestown’s streets: “The ruined courthouse and jail have been despoiled by soldiers to make quarters and tens of thousands of men have marched through Charlestown singing ‘John Brown’s Body lies mouldering in the grave, his soul is marching on.’ The courthouse maintains its walls and outlines; and the four brick and plastered Doric columns are still standing. But the roof is reduced to a few beams. The whole interior is torn out. and the edifice now only has one floor, a cellar, and, to speak truthfully, the cesspool of all the vagrants of the village. To look into the interior is to feel revolted, yet to say: ‘This place is accursed.’”

27_But pride and hope spring eternal
But pride and hope spring eternal, even from a cesspool. Charlestown’s town pride was lit by a scheme of Shepherdstown leaders to buy up and forever prevent the old courthouse from rising again from the ashes. (With) that move blocked, Charlestown’s artisans and leaders scraped together a plan to rebuild their courthouse at half of what they believed was the price for the Shepherdstown structure, trying to keep the budget for their courthouse at less than ,000. And they succeeded, coming in at ,500.

28_State Legislature siding with returning the county seat
29_a handsome, deep toned bell
Then in August, 1871, with the State Legislature siding with returning the county seat to Charlestown, Charlestown worked and plastered and sawed, hammered and poured and painted – until on December 21st, 1872, Mr. Woodman of the Howard Watch & Clock Company of Boston eased the beautiful clock onto the courthouse cupola, aided by a handsome, deep-toned bell, courtesy of the Troy Manufacturing Company.

30_courtesy Troy Manufacturing Company
31_Our church going friends
“Our church-going friends,” wrote Mr. (John S.) Gallaher, the editor of The Virginia Free Press, “will have an opportunity of noting the time for preparing for church on time by the clear, distinct tones of the clock.”

Fed up with the droves of tourists wanting to see the John Brown courtroom, the new building was designed so that it had offices on the first floor in its place.

32_one of three circuit stops
Moreover, for almost the next four decades, the elegant courtroom upstairs was used as only one of three circuit stops for the state Supreme Court of Appeals.

A visitor in September, 1894, wrote: Charles Town, WV (Named now made into two words-JS) contrasts most favorably with Harper’s Ferry, being as neat and thrifty as the other is shabby. Of course, you drive at once to the courthouse which is, partly, the building in which John Brown was tried. The walls cover the same space, and the pillars in front are in the same position, although higher; and walking through the lower hall to the rear, you can pass over the very space John Brown’s mattress lay. But all the lower floor is now devoted to offices and the courtroom is up one flight.

33_smoking a corncob pipe
Standing in the doorway was a pleasant-looking gentleman, apparently forty-five years of age, smoking a corn-cob pipe and, in it, the fragrant, natural-leaf.

34_The 20th Century
The 20th Century

As time went on, business went on. The courthouse grew bigger, adding an annex in 1910. A young “Bud” Morgan remembered Charles Town in the nineteen-teens. (He wrote): A great sight each summer day was the row of Confederate veterans, sitting on the east end of the courthouse wall. About twelve to fifteen of them gathered there every day – some in tattered uniforms, some missing an arm or a leg, but all happy and cheerful, joking and kidding with all who passed by.

35_most highly honored and respected men
36_my grandfather William A Morgan
They were the most highly honored and respected men in the County. I was a favorite with them because some had served in the 1st Virginia cavalry, of which my grand-father, William A. Morgan, was colonel.

37_Miners Leader Bill Blizzard
38_women demurely vied
At another celebrated treason trial in this building – that of miner-leader, Bill Blizzard in 1922 – the town’s women demurely vied with news reporters for the prized 150 seats in the courtroom.

39_Juries still give verdicts there
Juries still give verdicts there. The gavel still drops, and lives of all kinds are thus changed forever at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

THE CROPPIES ACRE 1798 MEMORIAL PARK [UPDATE 9 MARCH 2017]-125363
beautiful small kitchen design
Image by infomatique
Today was a beautiful sunny day so I took the opportunity to visit this park and was delighted to discover that it is still open to the public. There was no sign of anti-social behaviour which is good news. When I visited last November there was a homeless [or he appeared to be homeless] man sitting on a wall and he was there again today. According to a woman and her dog the park is now open 24 hours a day … I cannot confirm if this is true.

[WHAT I SAID BACK IN NOVEMBER 2016]

There are two separate parks which may be related but in general most tourist guides are unaware of this fact to the extent that some claim that Anna Livia is located in the park beside the the Museum Luas Tram Stop.

The major park, the one normally associated with the museum, is officially the Croppies Acre 1798 Memorial Park while the smaller park featuring Anna Livia and a small pond is the Croppies Memorial Park. The distinction is important because the larger park has been closed to the public for extended periods.

For many years due to anti-social behaviour, mainly drugs related, the major memorial park was off-limits to the public. There was also problems with homeless people occupying parts of the park. Even today, there was a tent towards one corner of the park. One cannot blame the homeless for taking advantage of the available space.

On Tuesday, 14th June at 2:00 p.m. the Croppies Acre 1798 Memorial Park, Wolfe Tone Quay, Dublin 7 was once again open to the public but I did not get a chance to visit until today [November 7 2016]. Having been conditioned to the park being always closed I found the fact that the gates were partly opened a little bit unsettling and as I was the only person [if one ignores the tent and one person who left immediately I arrived] in the park I was a bit worried that an official might come along and lock the gates without informing me. This has happened to me in the past elsewhere.

Following discussions in 2013 with the Office of Public Works it was agreed that the management of the 4.3 acre Park would transfer from the Office of Public Works to Dublin City Council.

Dublin City Council’s Parks and Landscape Services have carried out an extensive works programme to upgrade the park and make it more accessible for the citizens of Dublin and visitors to the city.

The works include a new circulatory path system, upgrading of the existing pedestrian gates and the provision of a new pedestrian gate at the south west end of the park. Existing memorial structures have been upgraded and general landscape improvement works have been carried out. The total cost of the works, were in the order of €120,000.

To be fair the park was in excellent condition when I visited today but the presence of a tent was a bit worrying as was the careless attitude to properly opening the gates.

The name ‘Croppy’ was used in Ireland in the 1790s and was a reference to the rebels who closely cropped their hair to mimic the French Revolutionaries of the period who cut their hair in contrast to the aristocracy who wore powdered wigs.

Historically the Croppies Acre was located on land under common pasturage and part of what was termed ‘Oxmantown Green’.

In the 17th century, a portion was later presented to the Viceroy, the Duke of Ormond to build a palace, however this was never built and the site was sold to the City Authorities for a Barracks. Built in 1704, it served as a military base for 250 years, it was formally the Royal Barracks and later Collins Barracks.

The Esplanade where the Croppies Acre is located today was fully constructed by the 1850s, complete with boundary walls and ornate railings. During the Great Famine, the Esplanade was the site of a food kitchen. By the 1900s, the land was levelled to form two football pitches for the military. In 1997, the Decorative Arts Section of the National Museum was opened in Collins Barracks and the Memorial Park was subsequently designed and laid out in 1998.


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