Dublin’s Secret Garden

A curious water shortage map leads to a surprising discovery

Dublin Corporation’s announcement today of water shortages following pipe damage on James Street was accompanied by an odd map:



After the initial “are we affected or not…”, we were struck by the strange coverage. Why is there a big hole in the middle?

Looking closely, there is a small patch of blue. Is that a reservoir, in the middle of the city? A few hundred yards from where I catch the bus? Pulling up Google maps reveals the truth – it’s Blessington Street Basin, or just ‘the basin’ to those who live nearby ( and were not surprised by its existence. ) A bit more googling confirms its role as a water reservoir for the north of Dublin, built in 1810. The surprise is that it is still there, and is a beautiful public park, just off the top of O’Connell St.


You can live in a place for years and not know what’s there, even with the aid of satellite imaging.

A video telling the story better than I can is here.

Well worth a visit.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *