Updated: Jul 8
Places we visited -
Ashton heritage centre, Phoenix Park
Farmleigh House and Park Estate (1500 acres+) with house tour, Phoenix Park
Trinity College to see Book of Kells Museum, Long Room Library and Museum Building
Chester Beatty Library
Grounds of Dublin castle
Claire Garvey shop
Up early to take Senna for his daily walk at Farmleigh park. Such a beautiful park, wonderful trees and landscaping. We had 10.30am appt at Farmleigh House (original home of the Guinness family) with tour guide Don and what a fascinating and enlightening time it was.
Such an historic house and now the Official State guesthouse so international Royalty, heads of state and leading politicians have stayed there over the years.
I think the latest ones were Prince Harry and Megan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Afterwards we went to the Boathouse Cafe overlooking the lake for a piece of cake and coffee, and Theresa bumped into an old friend so we talked some blarney!
The Ashton Heritage Centre is based in the stable block of Farmleigh and beautifully converted into B&B units. And there’s a gallery close by but we didn’t have time to pop in.
We then took the tram into the centre of Dublin and alighted near Trinity College.
Wow, what a place! University of Dublin was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592. Keith, Theresa’s eldest son, met us there and led us into the Book of Kells Museum with his free entry pass. What a blast this place is and so so beautiful.
“The Book of Kells is a lavishly decorated Gospel manuscript produced by Irish monks, probably on the Island of Iona, near Scotland, around the year 800.”
“The importance of the book cannot be overemphasised and its beauty is such that it has been compared to ‘the work of angels’ ”
We then went upstairs to the Long Room Library which is just out of this world! Constructed between the years 1712 and 1732.
“It is a working library with reading rooms at both ends of the gallery. Given the rarity of the books in this room, special care is taken with use and preservation.”
(Quotes from A Pictorial Guide to Trinity College Dublin priced €10).
The light was falling into the library which gave the whole place a magical aura. I was magnetised to the spot.
We then walked to the Museum Building which is home to the departments of Geography, Geology and Civil Engineering. Reminded me of a smaller Natural History Museum, beautiful architecture by Deane and Woodward and opened in 1857.
We sat down occasionally on the benches in the vast campus admiring the classical buildings as well as ultra modern. Loved the revolving Italian sculpture Arnoldo Pomodoro Sphere within a Sphere. Similar sculptures from the same artist can be seen at the United Nations building at New York, the University of California at Berkeley and in the Vatican Museum.
We moved on to the Chester Beatty Library in the grounds of Dublin castle. Free admission and holds artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.
Chester Beatty was born in New York in 1875 and established himself as a mining engineer and set up a highly successful mining consultancy in New York in 1908.
He settled in London buying Baroda House in Kensington Gardens. He became an avid collector, and in 1950 he decided to move to Ireland and built a library for his art collection which opened in 1954.
It’s a priceless collection. There’s a beautiful roof garden and cafe in the atrium.
We headed to find a tram home and came upon the eclectic shop of Claire Garvey, great friend of Theresa’s and who is a fashion costume designer like no other. I know Nile Rodgers always has his stage costumes designed by Claire. Was so good to meet her and see her incredible work.
Back home and welcomed by Senna who jumped up and whizzed around me with excitement!