Francie Stoutamire Photography | From Dublin to Cork with horses, churches and castles on the way
39 photos

Our first stop after leaving Dublin was the Irish National Stud outside of Kildare constructed in the early 1900s by Colonel William Hall-Walker, a wealthy Scotsman; the stud became the English National Stud in 1915 when the Colonel donated it to the "nation" and remained so until it was taken over by the Irish government in 1945. The associated Japanese Gardens date to 1906-10. The horses are interesting but the gardens are gorgeous.

We then went to Kilkenny where the tour stop including the making of the hurley. We decided to skip this educational stop in favor of lunch at a local shop and a leisurely walking tour of the town including churches, unfortunately closed during the lunch hour, and ending back at Kilkenny Castle where we caught up with our tour group.

Then on to Cork for the night after a stop to see Cahir Castle. We did catch a brief glimpse, no picture, of the tip of the ruined Kilcash Castle just above the trees on the way but well off the road we were on.

Memorial statue of Colonel William Hall Walker who started the stud farm that became the Irish National Stud

Memorial statue of Colonel William Hall Walker who started the stud farm that became the Irish National Stud

Replica of Monastic Cells at Saint Fiachra's Gardens on the grounds of the Irish National Stud

Replica of Monastic Cells at Saint Fiachra's Gardens on the grounds of the Irish National Stud

Mares and foals pasture at the Irish National Stud. Small groups of mares and foals are pastured together until the foals are weaned at about age 6 months.

Mares and foals pasture at the Irish National Stud. Small groups of mares and foals are pastured together until the foals are weaned at about age 6 months.

Mares and foals pasture at the Irish National Stud. Small groups of mares and foals are pastured together until the foals are weaned at about age 6 months.

Mares and foals pasture at the Irish National Stud. Small groups of mares and foals are pastured together until the foals are weaned at about age 6 months.

Purebred Connemara Mare (Hazelrock Aris) and her filly foal (Hazelrock Infinity) at the Irish National Stud. These are ponies not full grown horses.

Purebred Connemara Mare (Hazelrock Aris) and her filly foal (Hazelrock Infinity) at the Irish National Stud. These are ponies not full grown horses.

Gale Force Ten (born February 20, 2010) at the Irish National Stud

Gale Force Ten (born February 20, 2010) at the Irish National Stud

Invincible Spirit (born February 17, 1997) apparently likes to roll more than stand at least while we were there but is the Irish National Stud most significant stallion.

Invincible Spirit (born February 17, 1997) apparently likes to roll more than stand at least while we were there but is the Irish National Stud most significant stallion.

Black Abbey on the grounds of the Irish National Stud but only accessible from the main road. Founded in the late 13th - early 14th century.

Black Abbey on the grounds of the Irish National Stud but only accessible from the main road. Founded in the late 13th - early 14th century.

Looking across the pond at the Irish National Stud visitor's center with the memorial statue of Colonel William Hall Walker just visible above the steps on the right.

Looking across the pond at the Irish National Stud visitor's center with the memorial statue of Colonel William Hall Walker just visible above the steps on the right.

Ducks on the pond by the visitor's center at the Irish National Stud

Ducks on the pond by the visitor's center at the Irish National Stud

Swan by the pond by the visitor's center at the Irish National Stud

Swan by the pond by the visitor's center at the Irish National Stud

A visit to the Irish National Stud is not complete without a walk thru the Japanese Gardens laid out in 1906-1910 by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and his son Minoru.

A visit to the Irish National Stud is not complete without a walk thru the Japanese Gardens laid out in 1906-1910 by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and his son Minoru.

Iconic red bridge in the Japanese Gardens.

Iconic red bridge in the Japanese Gardens.

Perhaps best described as an outdoor bonsai tree in the Japanese Gardens.

Perhaps best described as an outdoor bonsai tree in the Japanese Gardens.

Pretty waterfall in the Japanese Gardens. I've not identified the figure and we neglected to take a picture of the label, sigh...

Pretty waterfall in the Japanese Gardens. I've not identified the figure and we neglected to take a picture of the label, sigh...

Small meeting house in the Japanese Gardens as seen from the shallow cave holding the "Chair of Old Age".

Small meeting house in the Japanese Gardens as seen from the shallow cave holding the "Chair of Old Age".

Francie Stoutamire in the Japanese Gardens

Francie Stoutamire in the Japanese Gardens

The Japanese Gardens.

The Japanese Gardens.

Bird sculpture and weeping willows in the Japanese Gardens.

Bird sculpture and weeping willows in the Japanese Gardens.

A mass of red lilies in the Japanese Gardens.

A mass of red lilies in the Japanese Gardens.