Published on February 10th, 2010 | by bngr11
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.
Details: address Islandbridge, Dublin 8; phone 4757816; email firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.