The National War Memorial Gardens are situated in Islandbridge, a suburb of Dublin just outside the centre of the city. These beautiful gardens are dedicated to the 49,400 Irish soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War from 1914 – 1918. The name of every one of the soldiers is shown in the Harry Clarke manuscripts housed inside the granite bookrooms.
Although the gardens are primarily a place of remembrance and memorial, they are also of great architectural interest and beauty and a lovely place to enjoy a leisurely stroll, a peaceful run or even a picnic in the grass.
The space was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, a prolific garden designer and famous architect, and is one of only four gardens in the whole country designed by him. With beautiful herbaceous borders, two sunken rose gardens, tree lined avenues, granite paved pergolas, manicured lawns and meandering walkways, there is plenty to see and enjoy.
The multi seasonal planting keeps people happily visiting at any time of the year.
Both Sunken Rose Gardens have a pool in the centre of them to symbolise reflection and they each flank a central lawn which is home to the primary monument, “The Stone of Remembrance”. This monument is constructed of Irish granite, weighing in at seven and a half tons and identical in dimensions to other First World Ward memorials throughout the world. It symbolises an altar and is aligned with the Great Cross and Central Avenue.
At either side of the lawn there are two granite Bookrooms, 4 in total, said to represent the 4 provinces of Ireland. It is within these that the illuminated Harry Clarke Manuscripts can be viewed by prior appointment.
At the north of the Gardens where you can overlook the River Liffey, stands a dominating domed temple.
On the floor of the temple are an extract from the "War Sonnett II: Safety" by Rupert Brooke.
"We have found safety with all things undying,
The winds, and morning, tears of men and mirth,
The deep night, and birds singing, and clouds flying,
And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal earth."
The peaceful and historical atmosphere of this elegant garden makes it a perfect place in which to relax and reflect and while away an afternoon from the hustle and bustle of the busy City.
free of charge
Monday to Friday: 8.00am to Sunset
Saturday and Sunday: 10.00am to Sunset
National War Memorial Gardens
Located just a 10 minute drive from the hotel