Tralee Town Park was constructed on the site of the old “Castle Demesne” built by the Denny family in the 17th and 18th centuries. The castle was demolished in 1826 to make way for the construction of Denny Street. Edward Denny then landscaped the remaining property with trees, gravel paths, an ornamental grotto, and a gatekeepers lodge. When Edward died, the family offered to sell the property to the Town Council, which refused to purchase it. It was eventually sold to Henry Clements-Finnerty, who decided to charge an admission fee for the public to gain access to the park. In 1922, the Tralee Urban District Council agreed to buy the property, which officially became known as the “Tralee Town Park.”
Thirty-five different varieties of roses, covering three acres, make up the famous Rose Garden, within the heart of the park, which is dedicated to the annual Rose of Tralee International Festival. Surrounding a bronze statue of Mary O’Connor, the original Rose of Tralee from the famous Ballard, is the glass “Rose Wall,” featuring all the names of the winners of the Rose of Tralee Festival since 1959.
Also enclosed within the park is the “Garden of Senses”(since 1987) designed to feature each of our five senses.; SOUND is represented by the Hornes of Clogherclemi (from the Bronze Age);TASTE is represented by the Cauldron of the Dagda ( the Great God) supposedly a vessel of endless bounty;SIGHT’s exhibit is the Standing Stone which is aligned with the Skiabh Mis Mountain, and reportedly looks back to a mythical time;TOUCH’s representation is the Henge, “...a modern, rhythmic and tactile response in stone to an important Neolithic settlement ...at Ballycarty;”and SMELL was represented by the scent from all the roses.
We had the opportunity to meet the head gardener, Brendan Enright, who spent time explaining the many issues facing him to keep the park looking pristine, especially when approaching the time for the Rose of Tralee festival.. We were fortunate to have run into him as we explored the park, and thanked him for his hospitality and friendliness.
One of the unique features in the park is the garden devoted to the five senses...