THE INN AT IRWIN GARDENS
Lovely place to stay and relax – We booked an overnight stay and wished we had more time to enjoy this lovely B&B. Our room was clean and the bed was comfortable. The grounds were amazing!! We had a glass of wine on the large garden patio. It was peaceful and the stars were magnificent! Breakfast was an event. The meal was served in courses and was plentiful as well as delicious. We look forward to our next stay!
posted October 2016
Step back in time – We visited in early November, so the gardens weren’t as lovely as I am sure they are all summer. Even so, the gardens’ design is something to behold.
posted November 2016
West Lafayette, Indiana
The 1910 Edwardian mansion with its unique sunken formal garden is located adjacent to the Henry Moore arch sculpture and the First Christian Church which began Columbus’ reputation for architecture in 1942. The mansion and garden give you a bit of a Downton Abbey experience.
posted June 2016
About the Gardens
In an ornate, circa-1910 mansion with period features, this posh bed-and-breakfast is minutes from downtown Columbus and eight miles from Edinburgh Premium Outlets shopping center.
Built in 1864 by Joseph I. Irwin, Columbus banker and businessman, this Italianate design was remodeled in 1880 to accommodate four generations of the Irwin family. The current mansion was the achievement of Henry A. Phillips, a Massachusetts architect, who was hired by William G. Irwin in 1910.
The highlight of this two-acre property is the garden, a beautiful maze based on the Casa degli Innamorati in Pompeii. Several fountains and a long pool are the focal point of a lowered sunken garden. A statue under the center arch of the garden house references the Villa of Hadrian at Tivoli, Italy. Pompeian murals accent the garden house. A tall brick wall is rounded in imitation of 16th-century gardens in Mantua, Italy. Wisteria vines on the terrace pergolas were planted in 1911 and continue to bloom each spring. Only the English sundial and a Japanese bronze elephant sculpture, a replica of one at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair pavilion, do not follow the Italian motif.
It was on this property that Clessie first began “tinkering” in the garage, where he developed the ideas and technology for a high-speed diesel engine. With the backing of William Glanton Irwin, his ideas became the cornerstone product of Cummins, Inc., now a Fortune 500 company. (The original garage has since been removed, and greenhouses now stand in its place.) W.G. Irwin’s great-nephew J. Irwin Miller, who was born and raised in this house, and his wife Xenia had the vision that ultimately led to the development of the trove of modern architecture in Columbus, Indiana.
The gardens are open to the public on Tuesday and Sunday afternoons in season. See the EVENTS page for details.
The Gardens are located next to the public library and the Visitors Center.