Dutch-Style Sunken Garden

Sunken gardens in various formal styles were popular in the early twentieth century. Muckross House in Killarney has a sunken garden designed by Wallace & Company in 1945 and the remains of an early twentieth century sunken Italian garden have been uncovered in the walled garden at Fota House.

This one is in the Dutch of Early English style and was created some time after 1907, probably by Edward Cecil Guinness. The design has some similarities with the sunken pond garden at Hampton Court, which dates from the original Early English period, and may relate to his connections with the British Royal family.


An ornamental gate leads into the rectangular garden that was designed of three descending brick terraces to an oval pool in the centre with a marble fountain of carved putti figures. The fountain has been restored under the direction of OPW and the Carrara marble exposed. Fine topiary peacocks and spirals surround this fountain on two levels. A brick wall enclosing the garden is paralleled by a high yew hedge which leads the eye to the two conifers framing the view to the small apple orchard beyond.