Ireland’s horse heritage has developed from folklore, legends & High Kings to a place where the story of the horse is embedded within our DNA. Since the establishment of the stud in 1916, our evolution has coincided with the progression of Ireland’s world-class Thoroughbred industry.
Located in the heart of the Thoroughbred county, Co. Kildare, we welcome you to enter this land of horses, trees, and gardens & celebrate the wonders of nature. Located 45 minutes from Dublin and within 2 hours of Waterford, Cork and Galway.
The Irish National Stud’s Japanese Gardens, renowned throughout the world and the finest of their kind in Europe, are far more than simply a treat for the eye. They also provide comfort to the soul, achieving exactly the objective that was set out when the gardens were created between 1906 and 1910. Devised by Colonel William Hall Walker, a wealthy Scotsman from a famous brewing family, the gardens were laid out by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and his son Minoru. Their aim was, through trees, plants, flowers, lawns, rocks and water, to symbolise the ‘Life of Man’.
That plan was executed to perfection and Eida’s legacy is now admired by the 120,000 visitors who soak up the peace of the gardens every year. Very much representative of Japanese gardens from the early 20th century, Eida’s work traces the journey of a soul from oblivion to eternity and portrays the human experience of its embodiment as it journeys by paths of its own choice through life. Birth, childhood, marriage, parenthood, old age, death and the afterlife are all brought to mind as the gardens, a seamless mixture of Eastern and Western cultures, are explored.
St Fiachra’s Garden
St. Fiachra’s Garden was designed in 1999 by award-winning landscape architect Professor Martin Hallinan.
The garden commemorates St. Fiachra, the patron saint of gardeners. It provides a perfect partner to the Irish National Stud’s Japanese Gardens while, at the same time, opening up a wholly different yet equally satisfying experience. This stunning attraction seeks to capture that which inspired those involved in Ireland’s monastic movement in the 6th and 7th centuries. It does so principally by paying handsome tribute to the Irish landscape in its rawest state.
Rock and water are rulers in a garden rejoicing in the natural beauty of woodland, wetland, waterfalls, lakes and streams. Monastic cells of fissured limestone are surrounded by water while an inner subterranean garden is home to magnificent Waterford Crystal-shaped rocks, ferns and orchids. St. Fiachra’s Garden is the very essence of Ireland’s natural beauty.