c.1650 to the Present: from Townland to Terrace Garden. Gardens, it is said, are a reflection of heaven on earth, and a beautiful new book about Glenstal Abbey gardens would seem to emphasise such a view. This historical survey of the Glenstal Abbey estate and its environs is illustrated with a hundred photographs and historic maps, and it describes what many consider to be one of the most impressive gardened landscapes in Ireland. The history of the demesne is told succinctly with a vivid description of the ancient Mulryan inheritance and the tenure of the land in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by the Carbery family. A chapter is dedicated to the Barrington family and their ownership of the property in the nineteenth century when thousands of trees and shrubs were planted and the terraced garden was improved with greenhouses for growing peaches and tomatoes. The Benedictine Community arrived in Glenstal from Belgium in 1927 and Fr Brian Murphy began to carry out restoration work in the garden in 1986. His own influence has seen the development of a strong spiritual dimension including the design of Irelandís first Bible Garden.
Brian P Murphy is a member of the Benedictine community at Glenstal Abbey. His latest book, Glenstal Abbey Gardens (Papaver Editions, 2014), tells the history of this jewel of Irish garden history. As a historian, he is the author of several books and articles, including Patrick Pearse and the Lost Republican Ideal(1991) and The Origins and Organisation of British Propaganda in Ireland (2006).
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Date of Publication: 27/05/2014