Botanic Gardens Glasnevin
Poet Thomas Tickell owned a house and small estate in Glasnevin and, in 1795, they were sold to the Irish Parliament and given to the Royal Dublin Society for them to establish Ireland’s first botanic gardens. A double line of yew trees, known as “Addison’s Walk” survives from this period. The original function of the gardens was to advance knowledge of plants for agricultural, medicinal and dyeing purposes. The gardens were the first location in Ireland where the infection responsible for the 1845–1847 Great Famine was identified. Throughout the famine, research to stop the infection was undertaken at the gardens.
Walter Wade and John Underwood, the first Director and Superintendent respectively, executed the layout of the gardens, but, when Wade died in 1825, they declined for some years. From 1834, Director Ninian Nivan brought new life into the gardens, performing some redesign. This programme of change and development continued with the following Directors into the late 1960s.
The gardens were placed into government care in 1877.
In the winter of 1948/9 Ludwig Wittgenstein lived and worked in Ireland. He frequently came to the Palm House to sit and write. There is a plaque commemorating him on the steps he sat on.
Wittgenstein plaque in the Palm House.
Join the guided tours and discover the most iconic, helpful, and quirky plants of our collections. Learn about the fascinating history and international significance of the National Botanic Gardens.
Sculpture in Context Exhibition in the Botanic Gardens
Is the largest sculpture exhibition in Ireland. It brings together the work of more than 120 artists using a wide range of media, these works of art represent the rich, diverse character of Irish and International contemporary sculpture. From the smallest, most intricate ceramic works to stone sculptures of monumental scale. These exhibits can be seen through out the gardens.