The Blessington Basin

The Blessington Basin - always an oasis of calm for me in the city. I go through here as often as I can.

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I always find it fascinating the way things change in the city over time. Just behind here is a linear park, called Blessington Street Park, extending from Phibsborough down almost as far as Broadstone to the South.

 Blessington Street Park to the west of the Blessington Basin - image from Google Earth

Blessington Street Park to the west of the Blessington Basin - image from Google Earth

This park is actually the ghost of the Broadstone line of the Royal Canal. that originally ran all the way to a harbour at Broadstone, where Dublin Bus have a depot now. 

 Broadstone bus depot

Broadstone bus depot

The name Broadstone itself is descriptive of a stream crossing; the Bradogue, one of Dublin's many rivers, runs by here. The Bradogue rises in Cabra and runs to the Liffey at Ormond Quay. It is almost entirely culverted now and runs almost totally underground. 

In earlier times the stream was crossed by means of a large, oblong stepping stone - the broad stone, located near present day Constitution Hill. 

 Ordinance survey Ireland 1837-1842 with the Broadstone line coloured blue

Ordinance survey Ireland 1837-1842 with the Broadstone line coloured blue

The Harbour at Broadstone was close to the city markets and to numerous nearby institutions including the Richmond Penitentiary, the Richmond Lunatic Asylum, the North Dublin Union Workhouse, the Female Penitentiary, the Linen hall, and the King's Inns (later known as the King's Inns) 

 Broadstone Harbour, with the King's Inns in the background, early 1820s. 

Broadstone Harbour, with the King's Inns in the background, early 1820s. 

There was a Royal Canal Hotel at Broadstone; that was where passenger-carrying boats departed from. The newly extended Luas will soon be taking passengers from this location once more. 

 Ordinance Survey Ireland 1888-1913 with the Boardstone line highlighted in blue

Ordinance Survey Ireland 1888-1913 with the Boardstone line highlighted in blue