dubh linn garden

Nestled in behind Dublin Castle, just off Dame Street [palace st. to be exact] is one of the finest gardens I have ever entered in my life. You know when you just get that ‘feeling groovy’ kind of a nice feel….? That’s exactly what I got…

Only one problem…. there is little to zero information available on the **garden*** [Not the Castle…. the garden] to be found on the web….?

It drove me a little demented to be quite honest. Mainly as I was so impressed. But I was in luck on my day there. A very kind man on his lunch break who worked in the neighbouring Chester Beatty Library noticed my confusion and explained the cobbled lawns were ‘eels’; the fact that the glass balls are the eyes and that it was based on a celtic mythology design… 😉

It is also [he explained] where the river dodder and the river liffey met – this meeting is what created a black pool – traslated into Irish one gets Dubh Linn. And it is from this that Dublin got its original name. It is also the site upon which the garden sits today.

I didn’t stop my ‘research’ there, I rang the very helpful Margaret Gormley of the OPW. Margaret is an amazing lady that I know from spending too much time in the Phoenix Park making gardens;) Turns out the gardens were designed by a lady called Ana Dolan, who also works with the OPW [I did try to get in touch with Ana…].The plaques that are brimmed with names that I noticed on the walls…they’re the names of all of the people who took part in The Special Olympics; the sculpt being the emblem of. It is also believed that the gardens are approximately 15 years old. [Thank Margaret!]

On the 15th November 2004 the gardens received  The Best Landscaped Open Space Award by The Tidy Towns unit of The Dept of Environment, Heritage & Local Government….

The other amazing fact of note is that the lawn is best viewed from the State apartments or… a helicopter. The lawn doubles as a landing pad for those who can!

If you are planning to visit, The Chester Beatty Library is a must. The coffee shop, The Silk Road Café does ‘real’ really good coffee and cakes and personally I even like the gift shop. Do be careful on planning a day there and ring in advance if you must as it may be closed for official state business.

My 3 pin plug type frustrations aside, the garden is serenity at its finest. Go there. Enjoy! Absolutely amazing.

*if I do receive any further info I will update here

UPDATE 1st July ’09:

I received an email from Denis Mc Carthy of Dublin Castle with this information ‘copied from an OPW publication Dublin Castle Art by Róisín Kennedy.’

** I really do appreciate Denis getting back to me but – Once again it’s a pity it is not available online for the world [wide web] to see [and not in PDF format btw please ‘if’ it is]

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update #2 1st July ’09:

this update comes courtesy of Keith Nolan – as keith explained he eventually goes into that garden – that said the information is amazing. Thanks Keith 😉

Update 2nd July ’09:

and this beautiful overview of the lawns taken by Niamh. Thanks Niamh 😉

dubh-linn-garden courtesy niamh smith

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10 replies
  1. Niamh
    Niamh says:

    Peter, lovely post. It is indeed a lovely garden, I’ve been there a few times. The eels were pointed out to me recently and I can see why up above would be the best place to view them 🙂
    Must pay a visit soon, have been in café too but never taken a trip round the library.

  2. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:

    @grannymar
    pictures you in ‘mission impossible #5’….;)

    @niamh
    thank you so very much 🙂 a very interesting and calming place I must say. It seems to rub off on the very nice people I met there…

    …of course my led zepp t-shirt helped me to blend right in 🙄

  3. Fred
    Fred says:

    Nice post man! I like the way it’s structured. Opening, video that generates some questions and your research later. Engaging:)
    Didn’t know about the story behind the name Dublin! interesting.
    It looks like a lovely garden alright. I have to admit that after almost 4 years living in Ireland, I haven’t visited Dublin castle yet 🙁
    Gotta check it out with the girlfriend and act as a professional tourist guide after reading your post dude!
    See you soon
    Best
    Fred

  4. Niamh
    Niamh says:

    Just for the record Peter, I didn’t take the pic from either a helicopter (!) or the State Apartments but from the Roof Garden on top of the Chester Beatty library so anyone can go up there for a bird’s eye view 🙂

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