A rather formal name for a very pretty little park worthy an hour or so of your time. Locals refer to it as Forthill Park or simply Cole’s Monument. You might secure a rather strange look about town if you enquire as to the whereabouts of the Pleasure Park!
Prior to being called Forthill Park, from Plantation times (early 1600s) this small park was called Commons Hill, Cow Hill and Camomile Hill and was a common area where local people grazed their animals. In 1689 a star shaped artillery fort was built on the hill which then became known as Forthill. In 1832 Forthill again became a public area – this time a park – when the military left.
It’s a very pleasant little park – in fact the only one in Enniskillen – with a few short walks amongst the shrubbery.
In the centre of the park, on the bastions of the former fort, is Cole’s Monument, erected in the memory of Sir Lowry Cole a local politician and distinguished general In the British Army. The monument which was started in 1845 and which took twelve years to complete takes the form of a Doric column topped by a stature of (to give him his full honorifics) General the Hon Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole GCB which was created by Irish sculptor, Terence Farrell.
Cole was Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons for the family seat of Enniskillen from 1797 to 1800, and represented Fermanagh in the British House of Commons in 1803. Cole’s military career saw him serve in the West indies, Ireland, Egypt, Sicily and on the Iberian Peninsula.
He served in the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot – a local Enniskillen Regiment – before taking command of the full 4th Infantry Division (which included the Inniskillings).
Cole also served as the 2nd Governor of Mauritius from 1823 to 1828 and Governor of the Cape Colony from 1828 to 1833.
The Monument is 96 ft high and you can climb the 108 steps to the top for a good view over the town of Enniskillen and surrounding area. Note that if you want to go up the monument you need to acquire a ticket at Visitor Information Office on Wellington Road in the town, a short walk from the Townhall and across the road from the Bus Station.
Also in the park is a very nice cast–iron Victorian band-stand erected in 1895 as a memorial to Thomas Plunkett, antiquarian and town commissioner, who regenerated the park which has become rather overgrown and neglected by the 1880s.
An interesting little anecdote is that after the Crimean War a captured Russian Gun was brought to the park. It fired a salute to the first train arriving into Enniskillen in 1857 and broke all the windows in Belmore Street at the bottom of the park.
Park – year round
Monument – Mid April-End Sep: Daily 1.30pm – 3pm (other times by arrangement)
Park – Free
Monument – I cant recall but small.
This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries based on many trips to Enniskillen. I suggest you continue with my next entry – Enniskillen War Memorial – or to start the loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – “Fare thee well Enniskillen, ………..”