RHK Grounds & History

The Grounds

The building comprises a North Wing containing the Master’s Quarters, the Great Hall, the Chapel and the Vaulted Cellar with the 19th-century kitchen and the South, East and West Wings which provided accommodation for the pensioners. The beautiful gardens were originally used for medicinal purposes but over time they became the private gardens of the Master of the RHK who was in charge of the British Army in Ireland at that time.

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Courtyard

At the Heart of the RHK, lies the grand Courtyard. The Courtyard possess a timeless paved cobbled surface, stone cut cloisters, the historic clock tower and Juliet like balconies. There is nowhere else quite like this unique Courtyard in Ireland. This one-of-a-kind venue is renowned for hosting some of Ireland’s most bespoke evening events for entertainment, music, and notable private gatherings.

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North Range

The renowned interior wing of the North Range and distinguishable Clock Tower encompass the Courtyard. The North Range is home to the RHK’s most renowned venues which include the Great Hall, the Chapel and the West Wings. These exquisite venues have provided the most elegant backdrop to many formal and intimate celebrations.

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Formal Gardens

The RHK is graced by the presence of an early 17th-century formal walled garden. The Formal Gardens is a tranquil arboretum for visitors of the RHK to explore. This 17th century landscape features bespoke garden characteristics, such as topiary, ornamentation, a grand fountain, historic walls and art installations. Its unique landscape encompasses many enchanting elements, which often lends itself to clients for an abundance of photography projects.

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History in Brief

Royal Hospital Kilmainham; one of the most iconic Dublin buildings and Ireland’s foremost example of fine 17th century architecture, now home to the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

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The history of the Kilmainham site includes ancient burial grounds, early Christian monuments, a Viking settlement and a medieval monastery. The RHK was open as a retirement home and infirmary for nearly 250 years for generations of military veterans who lived and died there.

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In 1922 the building and grounds was handed over to the Irish Free State.

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Nearly 60 years later, Taoiseach Charles Haughey approved plans to renovate it at a cost of IR£3 million. Renovations took four years – similarly, it took four years to build the original building from three centuries ago. 

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In 1991, the RHK became home to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) which explains all of the bespoke artworks positioned around the hospital’s stunning 48 acres.

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Presently the RHK houses the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The RHK’s impressive grounds are open to the public year round to explore. The private venues are available for hire to clients for bespoke private gatherings and prestigious events. 

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The Royal Hospital Kilmainham

Military Road, Dublin 8, Ireland. D08 FW31

Email: info@rhk.ie

Phone +353 (0)1 612 9903