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Published on February 10th, 2010 | by bngr


Irish National War Memorial Gardens

Last Sunday I joined Peter Donegan’s Garden Group on a guided trip to see the Irish National War Memorial Gardens.

The Gardens are hidden away between the Kilmainham bypass and the Liffey, just south of the Magazine Fort inside the Phoenix Park.  Conceived as a commemoration to the 49,400 Irish who died in the First World War, and built by the veterans who made it home, the gardens were designed by the then famous Sir Edwin Lutyens in the early part of the last centurty.

The gardens have broad avenues that lead to a central cross that is surrounded by an altar, fountains and flower gardens.  The land slopes down from the dual carriageway to the river so from above you get a great view and from below the waterside walk is beautiful, which you can continue on all the way to Chapelizod, and you’re likely to catch rowers about.

Just as interesting as the history and aesthetics were the facts about the gardening and maintenance that our guide Craig gave us. There’s a serious amount of work put into maintaining the plants and trees and shrubs throughout the seasons; and they’re still planting new trees and reshaping the grounds as initially envisioned by Lutyens.  The rose gardens were all pruned back for our visit but here’s an idea of what they will look like in the summer:

As wel as the gardens, Craig showed us inside the four Bookrooms which are like tiny museums on the edge of the rose gardens.  These Bookrooms display the books that record evey Irish soldier who died in the Great War, including a computerised searchable record of these books, and general memorabilia from this time.

It’s well worth a visit, even in these cold winter/spring days.

Details:  address Islandbridge, Dublin 8; phone 4757816; email info@heritageireland.ie; opening hours Mon-Fri 8am, Sat-Sun 10am, closing time according to daylight hour; access to Bookrooms by arrangement with local management; free admission; car park close to site; no cafe; see here for map of the location.

Images courtesy of Laughing Lion Design and Anto.

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11 Responses to Irish National War Memorial Gardens

  1. A great day was had by all! Next time I’m even going to have a chat with you 😉 Thanks for the link on the pics.

  2. Stan says:

    What a lovely place. I must pay a visit sometime I’m in Dublin. And I’ll bring my own tea.

  3. Peter says:

    extremely well written post Blaithín and great photo’s by Jennifer.
    really glad the first garden group went so well – even though it was a lttle chilly.

    enjoyed that 🙂

  4. Niamh says:

    Lovely day, thanks a million Peter for organising it. I hope we get dibs on the next trip first 😛

  5. Good man Pete had fun and have finally thawed out! Lovely phtos oo I must say 🙂

  6. Peter says:

    absolutely. I conferred with Mr McGuinness and seems the fairest way to do the next one is that those who went on the first gig – irrespective of what position their comment appears on the blog post – will have first refusal.

    great to hear mate 😆 Yes I mst say Jennifers pics are really amazing stuff

    beir bua

    ps: next gig will be announced first week in march

  7. bngr says:

    Jennifer – I’ll make sure we do.
    Stan – bringing your own tea would make the trip 24% more pleasurable.
    Peter, Niamh, Niall – cheers.

  8. Ciara says:

    Wow that first photo is beautiful 🙂

  9. Bngr says:

    I’ll take that as a compliment for me picking that picture, but the artwork is all Jennifers of Laughing Lion Design as above.

  10. Ah yes I remember seeing this on his blog, what a fantastic idea, did you see he has another outing planed. How are your sea legs?

  11. Bngr says:

    Well I’m down for it anyway.

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