The square was developed by Richard FitzWilliam, 7th Viscount FitzWilliam, hence the name. It was designed from 1789 and laid out in 1792. The center of the square was enclosed in 1813 through an Act of the Parliament of Ireland. To the north is the much larger Merrion Square, with which Richard FitzWilliam was also involved. The square was a popular place for the Irish Social Season of aristocrats entertaining in Dublin between January and Saint Patrick's Day each year.
The N11 road passes through the northwest side of the square on its way into central Dublin.
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