Garden grows interest in medieval Limerick

An award

-winning medieval garden has been given a permanent home in Limerick to mark the city's status as Ireland's first National City of Culture.

The Limerick Cultural Garden was a silver medal winner at this year's Bloom Festival in Dublin, where it was viewed by 100,000 people.

Inspired by Limerick’s built and cultural heritage, the show garden has been relocated to the grounds of City Hall, where it can be enjoyed en route to King John’s Castle.


Designed by Drake Hourigan Architects, it is hoped the cultural garden, located in the heart of medieval Limerick, will help promote the city’s heritage to a wider audience.

Commenting on the background to the garden’s features, Ailish Drake explained how gardening techniques employed in the middle ages are very relevant today.

“Gardens in castles, monasteries and manor houses of the middle ages were planted with medicinal herbs, flowers, meadows, fruit trees and bushes, as well as plants used for textiles, dyes for tapestries and inks for manuscripts.

“Features included wattle and wicker fences, arbours and raised beds, turf seats, fountains, ponds and beehives. This type of gardening is very relevant in today’s society, where we are moving towards a natural, productive and more sustainable type of gardening.

“We hope it will now become a wonderful resource to our community by becoming a centre for lifelong learning and education, especially during this City of Culture year,” added Ms Drake.

Permanent space

Pat Dowling, director of services with Limerick City and County Council, said the local authority was delighted to relocate the garden to a permanent space.

“It serves as a wonderful reminder of Limerick’s rich medieval heritage, which includes the newly refurbished King John’s Castle, St Mary’s Cathedral, Fanning’s Castle and the Hunt Museum’s medieval collections.

"The council is delighted to have supported Ailish Drake and Conor Hourigan in their design of this project. Their creativity and awareness of Limerick's medieval heritage has resulted in the delivery of a unique project that adds immeasurably to the overall City of Culture programme for 2014."