ST ANNE’S PARK IN RAHENY
The ‘Bridge & Hermitage’ spans the Nanekin River and houses the magical Hermit’s Cave. With its ancient stone entrance, visiting the Hermit’s Cave feels like stepping into a storybook where imagination come to life.
The Naniken River is a minor river on the north side of Dublin city, Ireland, one of more than forty watercourses monitored by Dublin City Council. It is culverted for its upper course, visible in St Anne’s Park for its entire lower course, and causes flooding somewhere along its line most years. The river flows entirely within the jurisdiction of Dublin City Council.
The origins of the name, also spelt sometimes as Nannikin or Naneken, are unclear, though it has been speculated that it might be a diminutive reflection of the much-larger Nanny River flowing just north of the County Dublin boundary.
The Naniken is a central feature of Dublin’s second largest municipal park, a former Guinness family estate. It passes in a shady channel through an area of playing fields, runs through the Dublin City Millennium Arboretum, and then flows in a more distinct valley through the central reaches of the park. In the 19th century there was a pond northwest of the modern-day nursery, with a small waterfall, but this is entirely gone now. Some artificial features were constructed for the Guinnesses near the river, including ornamental bridges (one high bridge was removed for safety reasons in the 1980s), at least one ford, and a couple of wider areas. Near the coast an offtake supplies the Duck Pond (or Old Pond), while the river itself flows around and passes under the James Larkin Road to enter the western half of the “lagoon” (also known as Crab Water or Raheny Lake) behind North Bull Island. The line of the Naniken from its mouth marks the boundary of the civil parish of Raheny with that of Clontarf, and the beginning of the Raheny portion of the Bull Island.
This small but long-established river causes flooding, as with the neighbouring Wad River, in many years. Frequent locations include Maryfield Crescent, Rosemount Avenue and parts of Kilmore. In 2014, the City Manager acknowledged the flood risks, noted that there was no near-term funding for serious remedial works, but agreed that the City Council would invest 60,000 euro in a hydraulic study.