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The Sunken Gardens, Royal Hospital Kilmainham

The Sunken Gardens, Royal Hospital Kilmainham – In this article, our resident photographer, Stephen Davis captures the beauty of the formal gardens of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, locally known as “The Sunken Gardens” formally as the “The Master Gardens”.

An example of 17th century formal gardens.

The gardens also known as the Masters Gardens are found within the grounds of the Royal Hospital.

They have fallen in and out of repair over the years with no design plans existing from their original conception.


The present gardens restored by the Office of Public Works and designed by architect Elizabeth Morgan are not historical reproductions but rather a restoration in the spirit of the 17th and 18th century.

Their is a small house at the end of the gardens known as the “Garden Lodge”, which was built c.1730 and thought to be designed by Sir Edward Lovett Pearse, the designer of the Irish Houses of Parliament.


There are also numerous statues arranged within the gardens.  Each statue is inspired by Greek Mythology representing one of the nine muses, which inspire human creativity.


The gardens are adjacent the hospital main building and are well worth a stroll for the casual visitor


 All photos taken by Stephen Davis

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