Our Story

Airfield Estate in Dundrum is Dublin’s only 38 acre working farm that is open to the public.

Airfield is now a charitable organisation, established by the Overend family in 1974, for educational and recreational purposes.

Our farm, gardens, café and heritage experience in the Overend family home, offers visitors a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and learn about food, farming and the natural work in a unique and relaxed urban environment.

Airfield Estate’s Mission is to inspire people to refresh their connection with food and the land it comes from.

We aim to do this by using our farm, gardens and natural surroundings to provide a range of enjoyable experiences and opportunities for active learning.

Airfield Estate – our history informs our future

The Overends were a comfortable middle class Dublin family. Trevor Overend a solicitor, brought Airfield as a summer house in 1894 but decided to make it his family’s permanent home several years later.

Both his daughters Letitia and Naomi grew up and remained here until they died. They both were actively involved in the farm and their extensive gardens as well as their many charitable pursuits. As a family they had always been concerned with the welfare of others and as far back as the early 1900s. Naomi, then aged eight, organised a fund-raising fete at Airfield in aid of the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

At the turn of the century Dublin had the worst death rate in the British Isles with problems arising from overcrowded tenements, poor sanitation and a lack of nutritious food. In response to this the Overend family provided pasteurised milk for the first “clean milk” depot which supplied inner city families with a safe milk supply.

During the war the Overends also extended the capacity of their food gardens to help combat food poverty.

The Overends were instrumental in establishing the Children’s Sunshine Home in 1924 (now the Laura Lynn Foundation) which was then a convalescent home for children suffering from rickets and other diseases caused by malnutrition and poor housing.

Airfield Estate – the new future

Airfield is a charitable organisation, established by the Overend family in 1974, for educational and recreational purposes. With this remit from our benefactors in mind Airfield has been re-designed to facilitate active learning focusing on food, farming and the land.

Airfield House

For example our new food gardens with their pathways through espaliered fruit trees and vegetables are designed to be places of discovery, education and fun. The formal gardens contain ornamental farmstead plans (oregano/artichoke/parsley) where children can share the passion for planting, growing and cooking local seasonal home grown food.

Our food beds have been planted to excite and enthuse children/visitors to grow food and also to show them how our food is grown and what it looks like before we see it on our plate. The same ethos has been applied to the new farmyard. Here children can see at first hand the animals that provide us with dairy products, meat and clothing materials.