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Open February 1st to November 6th. February - November every day; 9.00am - 6pm. Last admission 5pm (Car park locks at 6.30pm)
All year for groups. Please book in advance to ensure availability of a Guide.
The foaling season is from February - June.
Guided tour of the Irish National Stud, plus visit to The Japanese Gardens and St. Fiachra's Garden.
See website for current admission prices http://irishnationalstud.ie/visitors/35/tourist-attractionsa-opening-times-admission.html Covers all four attractions: Japanese Gardens, St. Fiachra's Garden, The Horse Museum and a guided tour of the Stud. Group rates available on request.
Free parking. Picnic area provided.
Events, see website for details
Hotels in Kildare Town and Newbridge
Silken Thomas, Kildare Annamars, Kildare Kristianas, Kildare
The Gregory Tavern, Kildare Bolands, Kildare Cunningham's, Kildare
Kildare Town - 1 mile Kildare Heritage Centre & Cathedral, Round Tower. Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park, Rathangan.
The Japanese Gardens & St. Fiachra's Garden are both situated within the grounds of the Irish National Stud, formerly known as the Tully Estate, just outside Kildare Town. The gardens have been carefully preserved since their creation and are considered one of the gems of Irish Heritage. The significance of the Japanese Gardens is not only artistic and horticultural but also religious, philosophical and historical.
St. Fiachra's Garden was created in a 4-acre area with woodlands and lakeside walks and its centre is dominated by fissured limestone Monastic cells. Within the cells is a handcrafted Waterford Crystal Garden, featuring rocks, plants, ferns and orchids. St. Fiachra's garden presents to the visitor the landscape which inspired the spirituality of the 6th and 7th centuries monastic movement in Ireland. The philosophical concept of the garden searches for the basis of St. Fiachra's love for nature and the soil. At St. Fiachra's Rock and Natural Spring, the Saint is depicted as the spiritual hermit reaching skyward as if linking heaven and earth; in his hand is a seed, the kernel of nature and creation.
The lands around Tully have been associated with the breeding of horses since about 1300, when it is likely that war horses were bred here for the Knights of Malta. However, the first record of the setting up of a stud farm is in 1900, when the lands were purchased from a local farmer James Fay, by Colonel William Hall Walker, who later became Lord Wavertree. As 'Willie' Walker approached middle age, he turned his attention to the owning and breeding of racehorses, quickly turning the farm at Tully into one of the best studs in Europe at the time.
He succeeded in building up a collection of foundation mares which had tremendous influence on racing. In the ten year period of 1904 - 1914 there were seven classic winners bred at Tully including Minoru (The Derby and 2000 Guineas). During this period Colonel Hall Walker also decided to have a Japanese Garden built on a boggy site near Tully House. The Garden was laid out by an eminent Japanese landscape gardener Tassa Eida, and his son Minoru, assisted by an army of local labourers. In 1916, Colonel Hall Walker presented his Stud to the British Government for the purpose of founding a British National Stud.
In 1943, the newly formed Irish Government took over the land and buildings at an agreed valuation. In 1945 the Irish National Stud Company Ltd. was formed and it officially took over the running of the Stud on 31st August, 1946. St. Fiachra's Garden was created in 1999 to a design by Professor Martin Hallinan to celebrate the Millennium.