Tralee Town Park

Tralee Town Park (or “The Green” as it is locally known) is situated in the heart of Tralee. It covers 35 acres but during the 18th century, it covered more.

Opening Times

wdt_ID Months Opening Time Closing Time
1 December - March 07:30 AM 06:00 PM
2 April - November 07:30 AM 09:00 PM

Layout of Tralee Town Park

Rose Garden in Tralee Town Park
Rose Garden

The most striking piece of the park is the rose garden. It was created in 1987 and has 35 different species of roses. In the summer, it is a sight to behold. There is a big fountain shooting jets of water in amongst themselves over to the left of the rose garden.

Over to the right of the rose garden, there is a big playground for small kids. Another way to get into the playground is by 2 black gates to the left of the Kerry Museum. They are opposite the information office.

Playground in Tralee Town Park
Playground in Tralee Town Park

If you come in the northern gate you will be met with the Rose Wall. The glass wall is inscribed with all the winners of the Rose of Tralee since the festival started in 1959. In the centre of the Rose Wall, there is a statue of William and Mary.

In the 19th century William, who was the son of a wealthy merchant fell in love with a girl called Mary which was a nanny. It is thought that the Rose of Tralee song was written by William for Mary.

Sculpture symbolising taste in Tralee Town Park
Sculpture symbolising taste

The gate near St. John’s Church enters the park near the Garden of Senses. It was designed by Don Nolan who is a Tralee person. The Garden of Senses is like a little maze and it has sculptures that symbolize the five senses (taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight). All the sculptures have a plaque beside them describing what they are. The plaque is split into 2 parts. English and braille.

Plaque in Braille in Tralee Town Park

Deep inside the park behind the Ashe Memorial Hall there is a Tralee Community Garden. Vegetables, plants, and small trees are grown here. They are trying to increase the biodiversity of the park. 

Sculpture symbolising Apollo 11 in Tralee Town Park
Sculpture symbolising Apollo 11

A part of the park is named after Neil Armstrong. It is called Neil Armstrong Way and it is down beside Siamsa Tire. In 1997 Neil Armstrong came to Tralee and gave a speech describing what it was like to walk on the moon. In 2018, a stone monument was unveiled to remember him. It was designed by Billy Leen.

Activities in Tralee Town Park

Every year around the third or fourth week in August the Rose of Tralee takes place. When the Rose of Tralee is crowned, her picture is taken in The Rose Garden the following morning.

The Tralee Garden Festival is held every year in the park. Every Saturday and Sunday there is a park run. Saturday is for adults and old teenagers.

They run around the park 3 times and it is 5 km long. Every Sunday is for the kids and it is up to the age of 14. You must register for Tralee Parkrun, and I have a link to the Tralee Parkrun here.

Pierse Park (Secret Park)

When you visit Tralee Town Park, I also recommend you visit the small park at the end of Denny Street on the right-hand side called Pierse Park.

It is often overlooked and was once a part of “The Green”. Padraig Pierse once gave a speech in that park to galvanize fighters before they fought in the Irish 1916 Rising.

In the park, there is a bust of Padraig Pierse and a plaque with the names of the people who died in the struggle for Irish independence. It is a small park but deep in history. Look out for the bug hotels as well.

History of Tralee Town Park

The park is situated on a site of an old castle dating back to the 16th century. A new castle was built by the Denny family in 1627. Edward Denny laid down gravel paths in the Green. Today the gravel paths are tarmacadamed. Edward Denny also planted trees that are still standing today.

A gatekeeper Lodge was built, and it is still being used. It is at the southern end of the park. The castle had a sports field including a place to play bowls. In 1826 the castle was demolished for the construction of Denny Street. Denny Street was built over the sports field. 

In 1889 the Denny family sold ‘the Green’ to Henry Clements-Finnerty. Originally it was offered to the town commissioners, but they refused to pay. Henry Clements-Finnerty installed big black gates at the entrances to the park and charged anyone that wanted to see ‘The Green’.

The big black gates are still there at this moment in time. In 1922 it was sold to the UDC and officially called ‘Tralee Town Park’.

The gates are opened during daylight hours but if you get locked in, there is an entrance and exit between the Kerry Museum and Siamsa Tire.

Conclusion

There is a lot to see in the huge park be it visiting the Garden of Senses, bringing your children down to the playground, or having a stroll you won’t be disappointed.

Check out my web pages on the Ring of Kerry Drive, The Skellig Ring and Slea Head Drive.

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