The OPW provides a shared service in the area of property management and property maintenance incorporating architectural, engineering, valuation, quantity surveying, project management and facilities management services to central Government Departments and Agencies. OPW is the leading agency in the country in the areas of conservation and the presentation of cultural and heritage properties.
The Office is responsible for some 780 National Monuments such as Newgrange and the Rock of Cashel. It also manages some of the most prestigious Historic Properties in the Country, e.g. Dublin Castle and Castletown House. A Business Transformation Unit has been established to address the recommendations arising from the Capacity and Capability Review of the Estate Portfolio Management function completed in 2014.
These gardens are one of the most famous memorial gardens in Europe. They are dedicated to the memory of 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in the 1914 – 1918 war. The names of all the soldiers are contained in the beautifully illustrated Harry Clarke manuscripts in the granite bookrooms in the gardens. These gardens are not only a place of remembrance but are also of great architectural interest and beauty. They are one of four gardens in this country designed by the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944). The others being Heywood Gardens (see p.63), Lambay Island and those in Howth Castle. Sunken rose gardens, herbaceous borders and extensive tree planting make for an enjoyable visit to the gardens in any season. Gardens Open all Year. Garden Opening Times: Mon-Fri 08.00, Sat-Sun 10.00 Garden Closing Times: According to Daylight hours Access to Bookrooms: by arrangement with local management Average Length of Visit: 1-2 hours
Irish National War Memorial Park, Islandbridge, Dublin 8, Dublin
The Casino was designed by Sir William Chambers as a pleasure house for James Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont. It is one of the finest 18th century neo-classical buildings in Europe The Casino, meaning “small house”, surprisingly contains 16 finely decorated rooms, endlessly rich in subtlety and design. It is a remarkable building – both in terms of structure and history. The Casino is located at Marino, just off the Malahide Road and only three miles north of the centre of Dublin. Free admission for Primary or Second Level pupils, as well as pupils attending special needs schools or special needs classes. For terms and conditions see our Home page under Free Educational Visits for Schools Scheme.
Cherrymount Crescent, Dublin 3, Dublin
Ieland’s best known Victorian public park. Re-opened by Lord Ardilaun in 1880 for the citizens of Dublin. This 9 hectare / 22 acre park has been maintained in the original Victorian layout with extensive perimeter tree and shrub planting, spectacular spring and summer Victorian bedding. The herbaceous border also provides colour from early spring to late autumn. Sanctuary from inclement weather can be obtained in the Victorian lakeside shelter or in the Victorian Swiss shelters in the center of the park. Over 3.5 km of pathways are accessible for all users. The waterfall and Pulham rock work on the western side of the green are worth of a visit likewise the ornamental lake which provides a home for waterfowl and a garden for the visually impaired. A number of sculptures are located throughout the green. A children’s playground is a popular attraction of the park. Lunchtime concerts are performed during the summer months. Gardens Opening Times: Mon-Sat 07.30, Sun and Holidays 09.30 Gardens Closing Times: According to daylight hours Gardens open Christmas Day 10.00-13.00
St. Stephens Green, Dublin 2, Dublin
Sited in the heart of the walled medieval city, St Audoen’s Church is the only remaining medieval parish church in Dublin. It is dedicated to St Ouen the 7th century bishop of Rouen and patron saint of Normandy. The Guild Chapel of St Anne houses an award-winning exhibition on the importance of St Audoen’s Church in the life of the medieval city. Visitors to St Audoen’s will see the part of the church still in use by the Church of Ireland as a parish church. They can also view the 17th century memorials to the Sparke and Duff families and the 15th century effigial tomb to Baron Portlester and his wife. 19th April – 24th October Daily: 9.30am – 5.30pm Last admission 4.45pm Average Length of Visit: 45 mins – 1 hour
Cornmarket High Street , Christchurch, Dublin 8, Dublin
The Royal Hospital Kilmainham is an iconic landmark. It was built in 1680 by royal command and predates its sister, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, by just two years. This is the oldest classical building in Ireland and was based on Les Invalides in Paris. Impressive, isn’t it? When it was built, the hospital housed just 20 people although it was designed for 400 (at times through history it housed up to 2,500). In 1690, we began looking after army pensioners from the Battle Of The Boyne. Yes, we’re that old. In 1922 the RHK was handed over to the Irish Free State and five years later the last pensioner was moved to Chelsea. It served as Garda Headquarters from 1930 to 1950 but fell into disrepair In 1980 Taoiseach Charles Haughey approved plans to renovate it at a cost of IR£3 million. It took four years – which is as long as it took to originally build it three centuries before. The beautiful gardens here were originally used for medicinal purposes but over time they became the private gardens of the Master of the RHK who was in charge of the British Army in Ireland at that time. In 1991, […]
Kilmainham, Dublin 8
The original castle at Rathfarnham dates back to the Elizabethan period and was built for Archbishop Adam Loftus, an ambitious Yorkshire clergyman, who came to Ireland as chaplain to the Lord Deputy and quickly rose to become Archbishop of Dublin, Lord Chancellor of Ireland and was closely involved in the establishment of Trinity College. The castle with its four flanker towers is an excellent example of the fortified house in Ireland and recent excavations at the castle have shed new light on the earlier phases of the castle and its occupants. In the late 18th century, the house was remodelled on a splendid scale employing some of the finest architects of the day including Sir William Chambers and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart. The collection includes family portraits by Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), and Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808). Times: Winter: October – April inclusive Wednesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 10.30am – 5.00pm Last Admissions 4.15pm Summer: May – September inclusive Daily – 9.30am – 5.30pm Last admissions 4.45pm Admission Fees: Adult: €5.00 Senior/Group: €4.00 Child/Student: €3.00 Family: €13.00
Grange Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, D14 K3T6
Ashtown Demesne accessed off the Phoenix roundabout on Chesterfield Avenue, has numerous attractions for young and old alike. These include Ashtown Castle, a two and half acre Victorian Kitchen Walled Garden, the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, the Phoenix Café, toilets, car and coach parking, woodland walks, picnic areas and a universal access playground. Ashtown Castle is a medieval tower-house. Until 1978, this castle was hidden within the walls of a Georgian mansion (called Ashtown Lodge) that was occupied by the Under Secretary for Ireland. When the Georgian house was demolished in the late seventies, the castle was discovered inside. It has since been restored and is now open to the public. It may date from as early as the fifteenth century. There is bicycle parking available at the car park at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre
Phoenix Park , Dublin 7, Dublin
The Phoenix Park is over 700 hectares (1752 acres) in area and is the largest enclosed public Park in any capital city in Europe. It was originally formed as a royal hunting Park in the 1660’s and opened to the public in 1747. A large herd of fallow deer still remain to this day. The Park is also home to the Zoological Gardens and Aras an Uachtarain and Victorian flower gardens. The Phoenix Park is only 1.5 miles from O’Connell Street. Both passive and active recreational pursuits may be viewed or pursued such as walking, running, polo, cricket, hurling, etc. The Glen Pond is set in very scenic surrounds in the Furry Glen. There are many walks and cycle routes available to the public.
Phoenix Park, Dublin
The Pearse Museum and St Enda’s Park was where Patrick Pearse lived and ran his innovative Irish-speaking school, Scoil Éanna, between 1910-16. ‘The Hermitage’ was originally built by Edward Hudson, State Dentist, who signed a lease on the lands in 1786. Over a century later, Patrick Pearse discovered the house while on a historical pilgrimage of sites associated with Robert Emmet. Set in nearly fifty acres of beautiful parkland, the museum tells the story of Patrick Pearse and his brother William, both of whom were executed for their part in the 1916 Rising. Pearse Museum and St Enda’s Park are operated and managed by the Office of Public Works. Pearse Museum Opening: March – October Monday – Sunday 09.30 – 17.30 November – January Monday – Sunday 09.30 – 16.00 February Monday – Sunday 09.30 – 17.00 Sundays & Bank Holidays Open 10.00 The Museum closes over the Christmas Period.
Grange Road, Co. South Dublin, Dublin
Today the building symbolises the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23. Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848,1867 and 1916 were detained and in some cases executed here. Many members of the Irish Republican movement during the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21) were also detained in Kilmainham Gaol, guarded by British troops. Names such as Henry Joy McCracken, Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, Charles Stewart Parnell and the leaders of 1916 will always be associated with the building. It should not be forgotten however that, as a county gaol, Kilmainham held thousands of ordinary men, women and children. Their crimes ranged from petty offences such as stealing food to more serious crimes such as murder or rape. Convicts from many parts of Ireland were held here for long periods waiting to be transported to Australia. Kilmainham Gaol Museum is operated and managed by the Office of Public Works. April 9am – 6pm (first tour 9am: last tour 4:45pm) May 9am – 6.00pm (first tour 9am: last tour 4:45pm) June, July & August 9am – 7pm (first tour 9am: last tour 5:45pm) Sept 9am – 6pm (first tour 9am: last tour […]
Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Dublin
Designed by Ninian Niven in 1865, but with a history dating back over three hundred years, the Iveagh Gardens are located close to St Stephen’s Green Park in Dublin city centre. From modest beginnings as an earl’s lawn, the gardens went on to host the splendour of the Dublin Exhibition Palace in 1865. Many of the original landscape features are still in place, or have been restored and conserved since 1995. These include the yew maze, the rosarium, and the fountains. The cascade in particular is a stunning spectacle in summer. Iveagh Gardens are popularly known as Dublin’s ‘Secret Garden’. Opening Hours Iveagh Gardens are open all year round. Monday – Saturday: 8am opening. Sunday and bank holidays: 10am opening. December and January: 3.30pm closing. February and November: 4pm closing. March to October: 6pm closing. Please note there is restricted access to the Gardens in June/July and August see events section for more detail Location Iveagh Gardens are located on Clonmel Street, off Harcourt Street in Dublin 2. Access is by Clonmel Street, Hatch Street, and to the rear of the National Concert Hall on Earlsfort Terrace. Please note that there is no wheelchair access through the Concert Hall gate […]
Clonmel Street, Dublin 2, Dublin
Grangegorman Military Cemetery, situated on Blackhorse Avenue, was established in 1876 as a graveyard for the soldiers and workers, and their families, of the nearby barracks. It is composed of just under six acres. At first this was solely for the Royal Barracks (now Collins Barracks); from around 1892 the newly-built Marlborough Barracks (now McKee Barracks) was included. In a manner typical of British military graveyards, most of the gravestones are uniform in appearance, and give just the name, date, and rank of the person interred. Casualties of conflicts such as the Crimean War, the Easter Rising, the Irish War of Independence, and the First and Second World Wars, are buried in Grangegorman. Because Marlborough Barracks was used as a place of recuperation for Commonwealth troops, there are soldiers of many different nationalities represented among the headstones. The cemetery is therefore divided into geographically-themed sections. There are over 1,100 headstones in the cemetery. The RMS Leinster The RMS Leinster was commissioned in 1895 by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, as one of four ships, each of which was named after an Irish province. She travelled between Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire) and Holyhead, as a mailboat. When submarine attacks […]
Blackhorse Avenue, Dublin 7, Dublin
It may have been intended for use by the Royal College of Science, but it soon attracted the attention of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland’s Dublin Castle administration. It was chosen to be the location for the first meeting of the new Parliament of Southern Ireland, created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, in June 1921. The planned State Opening of Parliament proved a fiasco, as only four members of the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and a minority of members of the Senate of Southern Ireland turned up. The Houses were adjourned sine die (although under the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 14 January 1922 “a meeting of members of the Parliament elected for constituencies in Southern Ireland” met to ratify the Treaty). With the coming into existence of the Irish Free State in December 1922 Leinster House, the headquarters of the Royal Dublin Society, located next door to the Royal College of Science, became the provisional seat of the Free State’s parliament, Oireachtas of Saorstát Éireann. The Executive Council of the Irish Free State immediately commandeered part of the college as temporary office space. Two years later the Free State decided to buy Leinster House outright from the […]
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2, Dublin
This beautiful garden in the heart of Dublin city was designed by Daithí Hanly, and is dedicated to the memory of all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom. It sits behind the historic Rotunda Hospital, in the centre of Parnell (previously Rutland) Square. The large sculpture by Oisín Kelly is based on the theme of the Children of Lir, and represents the long struggle of the Irish people. Throughout the garden are found motifs from early Irish history and mythology. The garden is intended as a place of quiet remembrance and reflection. Opening Hours The Garden of Remembrance is open all year round, seven days a week. April – September: 8.30am – 6pm October – March: 9.30am – 4pm Christmas Day: 11am – 1pm
12 Parnell Square East, Dublin 1, Dublin
Farmleigh is an estate of 78 acres situated to the north-west of Dublin’s Phoenix Park. It was purchased by the Office of Public Works on behalf of the Government in June 1999 and developed in order to provide accommodation for visiting dignitaries and guests of the nation, for high level Government meetings and for enjoyment by the public. Farmleigh remains a unique representation of its heyday, the Edwardian period, when wealthy industrialists had replaced landowners as the builders of large mansions in Ireland. Their tastes were eclectic, mising a variety of architectural styles and decors. Edward Cecil Guinness first Earl of Iveagh, the great-grandson of Arthur Guinness, built Farmleigh around a smaller Georgian house in the 1880’s. Many of the artworks and furnishings he collected for Farmleigh remain in the house on loan from the Guinness family to the State. The Benjamin Iveagh collection of rare books, bindings and manuscripts is held in the Library. The extensive pleasure grounds are a wonderful collection of Victorian and Edwardian ornamental features with walled and sunken gardens, scenic lakeside walks and a range of plants that provide both visual and horticultural interest throughout the seasons. The Estate also boasts a working farm with […]
Pheonix Park, Dublin 15, Dublin
Dublin Castle: Originally built in the 13th century on a site previously settled by the Vikings it functioned as a military fortress, a prison, treasury, courts of law and the seat of English Administration in Ireland for 700 years. Rebuilt in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Dublin Castle is now used for important State receptions and Presidential Inaugurations. The State Apartments, Undercroft, Chapel Royal, Craft Shop, Heritage Centre and Restaurant are open to visitors. (On occasions Dublin Castle can be closed at very short notice for Government business). Access for visitors with disabilities to State Apartments, Chapel Royal and restaurant. Open All Year: Aprl – September: Daily 08.30 – 18.00 October – March: Daily 09.30 – 16.00 Gardens open Christmas Day 11.00 – 13.00 Average Length of Visit: 1 hour Admission Fees Guided Tour (1hr 10min) Adult €10.00 Senior (60+) €8.00 Student (photo ID required) €8.00 Child (6- 17) €4.00 Family (Two adults, max five children) €24.00 Self-Guide (30 minutes approx) Adult €7.00 Senior (60+) €6.00 Student (photo ID required) €6.00 Child (12-17) €3.00 Family (Two adults, max five children) €17.00
Dame Street, Dublin 2, Dublin
The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland are an oasis of calm and beauty, and entry is free. A premier scientific institution, the gardens contain important collections of plant species and cultivars from all over the world. The National Botanic Gardens in Dublin are located in Glasnevin, just three kilometres from Dublin City Centre, and are famous for the exquisitely restored historic glasshouses. The National Botanic Gardens in Wicklow are located in Kilmacurragh, where the milder climate, higher rainfall, and deeper, acidic soils of this historic Wicklow garden, provide a counterpoint to the collections at Glasnevin. The two gardens have been closely associated since 1854. The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland are operated and managed by the Office of Public Works.
Glasnevin, Dublin 11, Dublin
The military cemetery at Arbour Hill is the last resting place of 14 of the executed leaders of the insurrection of 1916. Among those buried there are Patrick Pearse, James Connolly and Major John Mc Bride. The leaders were executed in Kilmainham and then their bodies were transported to Arbour Hill, where they were buried. The graves are located under a low mound on a terrace of Wicklow granite in what was once the old prison yard. The gravesite is surrounded by a limestone wall on which their names are inscribed in Irish and English. On the prison wall opposite the gravesite is a plaque with the names of other people who gave their lives in 1916. The adjoining Church of the Sacred Heart, which is the prison chapel for Arbour Hill prison, is maintained by the Department of Defence. At the rear of the church lies the old cemetery, where lie the remains of British military personnel who died in the Dublin area in the 19th and early 20th century. A doorway beside the 1916 memorial gives access to the Irish United Nations Veterans Association house and memorial garden. Arbour Hill is located at the rear of the National […]
Arbour Hill, Cabra, Dublin 7, Dublin
The original house was designed by park ranger and amateur architect, Nathaniel Clements, in the mid-eighteenth century. It was bought by the administration of the British Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to become his summer residence in the 1780s. His official residence was in the Viceregal Apartments in Dublin Castle. The house in the park later became the Viceregal Lodge, the “out of season” residence of the Lord Lieutenant (also known as the Viceroy), where he lived for most of the year from the 1820s onwards. During the Social Season (January to Saint Patrick’s Day in March), he lived in state in Dublin Castle. Phoenix Park once contained three official state residences. The Viceregal Lodge, the Chief Secretary’s Lodge and the Under Secretary’s Lodge. The Chief Secretary’s Lodge, now called Deerfield, is the residence of the United States Ambassador to Ireland. The Under Secretary’s Lodge, now demolished, served for many years as the Apostolic Nunciature. Some historians have claimed that the garden front portico of Áras an Uachtaráin (which can be seen by the public from the main road through the Phoenix Park) was used as a model by American architect James Hoban, who designed the White House in Washington, D.C. […]
Phoenix Park, Dublin 8