Heywood Gardens

The Italian Gardens, Heywood House


Colonel William Hutchinson Poe commissioned the leading architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, to plan the gardens at Heywood. Known locally as 'The Italian Gardens,' they are the only example of Lutyens' work outside of Dublin. The gardens were completed in 1912 at a cost of £250,000. They consist of formal gardens, lakes, woodland and architectural features, such as gothic gates and artificial ruins, embellished with vandalised medieval pieces such as the window taken from Aghaboe Abbey.

After World War I, Sir Edwin Lutyens was involved in the design of the British war cemeteries. He designed the War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, the Cenotaph in London and the Viceroy's house in Delhi. Fortunately the gardens in Heywood escaped damage and they remained as structurally intact as they were when they were completed at the turn of the century. The gardens have a spectacular setting on a hillside looking south-east over a sweep of undulating country which takes in seven counties. It is open to the public and is operated by the Office of Public Works.

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