A few things about our allotment site.
St. Thomas Abbey Gardens is located at the very heart of the Liberties on South Earl Street.
St. Thomas, after which the Abbey, Liberty and Street are named was Thomas á Becket who was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, England by agents of Henry II; the building of the Abbey was financed by Henry as part of his penance for Thomas' murder; as Hilary Mantel would say "It all began in blood".
After the dissolution of the monasteries by a later Henry, the site was given to the Brabazon family who were the Earls of Meath, hence the name became Earl's Court and why its on Earl Street.
Speed's map of 1610 shows Earls Court, but 125 years later its all but gone and is named Meath Market. That 125 years saw Dublin rapidly expand from its medieval plan to its modern and recognisable layout.
There are 18 allotments available; 12 x 6x5meter allotments and six smaller raised beds, one of which is a community bed. There are also raised community beds at the entrance to the main site.
The site at ground level has been covered with a geotextile liner to protect the archaeology beneath and covered with about 50-100mm of Hardcore.
From a gardening point of view, this will perhaps be the biggest challenge. There is no depth to the soil below the depth of the beds, so for long tap-rooted vegetables, like parsnips, its probably a good idea to use raised beds. The site is surrouned on foursides by walls and so has the appearance of a victorian kitchen garden. The walls may be able to be utilised to grow fruit in raised beds.
The site is south facing and sloping so it will be a warm site with a long growing season. There will be a 4000 litre water catchment system. It is a sheltered and very secure being surrounded by back gardens, buildings and a gated parking area. Its a clean site and does not appear to attract rubbish.
The site is managed by a committee of allotment holders with the support of DCC South Central. We hope you'll all support this so we can make St. Thomas Abbey Gardens a little bit of paradise in the liberties.