Brigits Garden, Roscahill, Galway

Brigits Garden is a delightful break from traditional garden design. It is laid out in a relaxed woodland style to reflect the ancient Celtic calendar which marked the changing seasons with the festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasa. The garden is named after our second patron saint, St Brigid, whose feast day is held on the 1st February. In Celtic times this pagan festival at the beginning of Spring, Imbolc invoked good fortune on the land, animals and people from Brigit, the mother goddess of the earth and fertility.
She was believed to visit households the night before so she had to be made welcome, rushes were laid on the threshold for her to kneel on and tokens such as ribbons, butter and rope were left outside on the windowsill for her to bless. Traditionally the preserve of women, it is still widely celebrated today in rural Ireland and is enjoying a revival along with the other Celtic festivals with the renewed interest and reverence for the environment.

Brigits Garden, Galway

Samhain, above is represented by the figure of a sleeping woman in the stillness of the lake surrounded by the starkness of Winter. Imbolc is Spring, fresh and cheerful with hanging woven swings which are very popular with the children. Bealtaine, the Summer fire festival has a ceremonial walk through standing stones to an impressive black bog oak throne. Lughnasa, celebrates the Autumn harvest with dancing at the crossroads and feasting at the huge oak table.
There is also an educational trail, signposted in Ogham, an ancient script whose scratched characters each represented a native tree. This meanders through woodlands, meadows and around by a little lake ending up at the largest sundial in Ireland, which not only shows the time but date, month, solstices and equinoxes. Not that you will be watching the time here in Brigit's garden......

10 Hidden Gems near Brigits Garden

1 White Gables Restaurant Moycullen very popular, consistantly wonderful with the biggest and best roast duck in Ireland.

2 Barna great drive over the mountains from Moycullen to the shores of Galway Bay, check out Cnoc Suain on the way.

3 Padraigin's eat here at this seafront restaurant, on the way back to Galway city, great views and cute little beach.

4 Oughterard pleasant old fashioned village, great tourist office run by locals, informative and friendly.

5 Lough Corrib take a boat trip out on the lakes around Holy Island and Ashford Castle.

6 Ashford Castle very famous hotel, former home of the Guinnesses lovely grounds €5 charge per car and school of falconry.

7 Cong quaint little village where scenes from 'The Quiet Man' were shot. Try and find the Giants grave I couldnt?

8 Aughanure Castle pretty cool 16th century castle with moate near Oughterard.

9 Glenlo Abbey another lovely castle hotel overlooking Lough Corrib, great pub grub in the cellar bar downstairs.

10 Galway City the city of the Tribes, start in Eyre square and wander down Shop St through Quay St as far as the Spanish Arch and the Claddagh basin.

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