Shireland, Circa 1988

Through several e-mails with Stormy, I have surmised that Shireland must have been a very different place when it opened in 1988 then after it re-opened in 1991.  Most of the attractions like buildings, "Dragonwood" and  "The Magic of Kids" must have been added after the park t closed at the end of the 1988 season and before it  re-opened nearly 3 years later.  That might have explained why the park was closed for so long.  

Again, according to Stormy, the original Shireland was all tents.  That flies in the face of everything that I thought I knew about it.  I thought that the buildings shown in my various web pages were there as long as the park was there.  The original look truly had more of a county fair-type atmosphere.  

Stormy recalls Shireland being laid out like this: 

"...You entered into an area with fake horses in
armor - saw the artificial hitch with fake horses - then got to walk past a bunch of stalls with the horses facing away from you (you got to
look at horse butts) then you went to the tents where they would have the girls washing and grooming the horses - then you got to our big top.  After that there was a food court and an area where they showed
the movies"

Through it all, I am convinced that  Thomas Smrt could not, nor did not conceive, plan  and develop this park on his own.  If you worked at Shireland and/or have any "behind-the-scenes" knowledge, please contact me.  

Shireland, during better times.

I am sure Smrt had a huge art department to generated stuff like this.  

Super Shire was a shire horse with super powers, I guess, who, along with his companion, Jimmy, solved crimes. 

(Believe me, I couldn't make that up!).  

This was the fodor for comic books that Smrt created and allegedly send out - to whom, I am not sure.

What clowns, cannons, horses and knights have to do with each other, I am not sure!

It seems as though it cost a lot of money to get in, but I don't remember.  Mind you, these are 1988 dollars.  Other people told me you and to pay to park, too.  

I think the smaller tents in the foreground were where 4 movies were shown.  One was about how Thomas Smrt donated dozens of horses to the U.S. Army.

Shireland must have been a great place to work if you were a high school/college-aged kid.  Likewise, Smrt must have employed most of the kids in that end of the state.

The Master of Ceremony 
(the man in the white suit, 
not the stuffed horse)

Was Shireland's demise due to Smrt's volatile nature or the inability to put bums on seats?  Or both?

Not everyone who worked there were kids.  Stormy thought that the clowns and some of the riders were professionals, maybe even from the circus.

Shire Horses were used in Medieval Times apparently.

Shireland was billed as " attraction honoring  (italics added)...The Great English Shire (horse)".  Since when do we honor horses?

Shireland  | Shireland '88 | Shireland '91 | Dragonwood | Magic of Kids | History | Aftermath | The Creator  
| Into the Belly of the BeastLingering ControversyLinks 



Shireland  | Shireland '88 | Shireland '91 | Dragonwood | Magic of Kids | History | Aftermath | The Creator | Into the Belly of the Beast |  Links