In December 2021 Dublin City Council announced that the first water-bottle refill station would be installed on Clarendon Row and at the DublinBikes docking station would return to the street. I was aware that the Docking Station had been installed but I did not notice the water refill station until today.
The scheme was progressed as part of the Grafton Street Quarter Public Realm Plan, which was developed to meet the objectives of the overarching Dublin City Council Public Realm Strategy ‘Your City Your Space’ document. A high quality design was utilised to improve ambiance of the street, with increased greening and wider footpaths creating a quality space to be enjoyed by all.
I was advised that Clarendon Row was named after Frederick Villiers Clarendon but as he died as recently as 1904 I knew that this was unlikely and recently learned that it is named after the Earl Of Clarendon.
George William Frederick (1800–70), 4th earl of Clarendon , lord lieutenant of Ireland (1847–52), was born 26 January 1800 in London, eldest son of George Villiers and his wife Theresa, daughter of John Parker, 1st Baron Boringdon.
Frederick Villiers Clarendon (c.1820 – 17 October 1904) was an Irish architect noted for his design work on a number of large public buildings in Dublin, including the Natural History Museum and Arbour Hill Prison.
Frederick Clarendon was born in Dublin around 1820 and received a Bachelor of Arts at Dublin University in 1839. Directly after graduation he was employed by the Office of Public Works, where he would remain until his retirement in 1887. Clarendon died in Mountjoy Square, Dublin in 1904.
Clarendon’s earliest major works focussed on Dublin’s prison system. Arbour Hill Prison was redesigned in 1845 by Sir. Joshua Jebb with Clarendon acting as executive architect, and Clarendon was also co-designer of the “Criminal Lunatic Asylum” in Dundrum two years later. Clarendon oversaw the renovation and extension of the Royal Irish Academy’s premises on Dawson Street between 1852 and 1854, as their existing Grafton Street location had become overcrowded. Clarendon’s most remembered work is Ireland’s Natural History Museum on Merrion Street adjacent to Leinster House, known as the “Dead Zoo”. The Royal Dublin Society had been obliged to use a public architect in order to obtain treasury funding, and the building was taken over by the State in 1877. Today the Museum forms part of the National Museum of Ireland. Clarendon provided his services free of charge to design the Mariners Hall, Howth in 1867. This then served as a Presbyterian Meeting House for over thirty years, services being conducted through the medium of Scottish Gaelic, the language of the immigrant seasonal fishermen of the village.