On 9th June 2021 the recently completed gardens were opened to the public by Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Mr. Andrew McGuinness and the Mayor of Kilkenny, Mr. John Coonan
In 2014 Mitchell + Associates won a design competition for the redevelopment of lands formerly used by the Smithwicks Brewery along the banks of the River Nore. The overarching brief for the project was to revitalise this former industrial area by creating a meaningful connection to the City Centre through a vibrant riverside park.
This linear park was the first landscape project implemented of the wider Kilkenny Abbey Quarter masterplan – a planned creative hub on the site of the former Smithwicks brewery in Kilkenny city centre. The project included working adjacent to a Special Area of conservation (SAC), the integration of listed, heritage buildings and working within the sensitive setting of the 13th C St. Francis Abbey, a National Monument.
The scheme also required the implementation of flood risk mitigation measures designed for the River Nore which included subtle enhancement of earth berms and reinstating flood walls. The planting species are mainly chosen for their pollinator friendly and riverside characteristics to attract insects and other wildlife. The park also includes a Skate Park which is located under the Wolf Tone Bridge. The park also creates improved pedestrian connections along the river, through the once derelict site connecting different parts of the City Centre.
On 9th June 2021 the recently completed the gardens were opened to the public by Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Mr. Andrew McGuinness and the Mayor of Kilkenny, Mr. John Coonan