The designed landscape of the Irish National War Memorial Gardens is of national and international significance for a number of reasons. Its location as an ancient fording point of the River Liffey means that it has always occupied an important focal point in the Dublin landscape. However, its essential role as a memorial to those lost in the First World War, and particularly its authorship by the celebrated Sir Edwin Lutyens, is what it is primarily known for today. These Gardens were to become Lutyens most famous work in Ireland, and are internationally recognised as a significant example of memorial landscape architecture.   

The Irish National War Memorial Gardens are divided into an informal and formal area. The formal area is located between the horseshoe road and the exterior fence, and comprises the central memorial lawn and radiating paths. The main features of this area are centred on the Stone of Remembrance. On either side of the Stone are the two fountains. These stand within a grassy lawn that is bordered by the four granite bookrooms and the enclosing wall. Looking down over the lawn is the Great Cross, standing high on stone steps. On either side of the bookroom pairs, hidden from view, are two sunken rose gardens containing around 4,000 roses, with lily ponds at their centre.

Built Heritage

The Irish National War Memorial Gardens contain a set of commemorative structures, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, which include the Temple, Bookrooms, Stone of Remembrance, and Cross, among others. Find out the meaning behind these structures, the style of their architecture, what is inside the Bookrooms, and what is inscribed on the Cross.

Horticulture and Arboriculture

The War Memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens primarily as a garden, with separate areas devoted to different meanings. Find out what flowers, trees, and shrubs were chosen throughout the Gardens, what may have influenced Lutyens’ decisions, and the symbolic meanings behind the different landscaped areas.

Views and Vistas

The views and vistas afforded by the design of the Gardens were deliberate and carefully drawn by Lutyens. Some of these views, such as the vista of the Gardens that is seen from the steep slopes of the Phoenix Park, have not changed through history. Find out more about historical views of the area, as well as the architectural cloistering of the memorial lawn, and the modern pathways that wind through the park.