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Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
Phone +353 1 6129900

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HERITAGE TRAILStables

Discover the captivating history of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham/IMMA through the immersive IMMA Heritage Trail. The IMMA Heritage Trail has grown out of the success of our recent podcast series of the PAST FUTURES, co-hosted by IMMA's esteemed Heritage Researcher, Barry Kehoe, and heritage enthusiast Stephen Taylor. The trail takes you on a journey through 16 unique stops dotted around the IMMA grounds.  

Stables

The stables curtain wall encountered along the Western Avenue were built according to a design by R.J. Stirling in the 1860’s after several of the out buildings, including stables, on the south and west side of the Royal Hospital were demolished in 1856. Military Officers treasured their horses and demanded better facilities on site to accommodate them.

Osi Historic map details are courtesy of Tailte Éireann

In the 1930’s the stables were converted into the Kilmainham garda station and sealed off from the RHK grounds. When Lord Wolseley was the Master 1891-1896 several of the horses were named in an article in Strand Magazine. The horses names over the stable doors were, Chance, Sir Redvers, Brown Bess, Blue-bell, Blackberry, Paddy and Chem. Miss Frances Wolseley picture on Blackberry went on to set up a horticultural college for women gardeners and was disinherited by her parents.

Miss Frances Wolseley pictured in Strand Magazine on her horse Blackberry went on to set up a horticultural college for women gardeners and was disinherited by her parents for not staying in their home and caring for them. [Strand Magazine 1892]

With the importance of horses to the site heritage Artist Stephen Taylor organised a workshop with the help of the Garda Horse unit and they brought Donagh to our art studios, the site of former Royal Hospital stable buildings, for a comparative anatomy drawing class.

With the importance of horses to the site heritage Artist Stephen Taylor organised a workshop with the help of the Garda Horse unit and they brought Donagh to our art studios, the site of former Royal Hospital stable buildings, for a comparative anatomy drawing class. Donagh [IMMA Drawing Workshop 2019]

Victorians were not only sentimental about their horses but their other pets were also treasured. The Wolseley’s also had their dogs Caesar, Bully and King Coffee with them. Caeser died while the Wolseley family were in residence and he was buried in the Royal hospital Garden under a mulberry tree. There was also a headstone for a dog found on the grounds that commemorates Dot, a little white dog.

Headstone for Dot, The Old Man’s House, OPW Heritage Room

Our contemporary affection for pets has not changed and a for dogs in particular a dedicated dog walking trail has been developed in the Meadow of the IMMA Campus with dog Poop bins provided.

 

SUPPORTED BY

The IMMA Heritage Trail is kindly supported by An Chomhairle Oidhreachta / The Heritage Council and the Office of Public Works. OSI Historic map details are provided courtesy of Tailte Éireann.

Important Notice

Alert

We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.

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