Wednesday, 7 October 2015

McCutcheon's Field Day

Tomasz has considered that today might have been one of our final visits to McCutcheon's Field in 2015.

This property of the National Trust is about a mile from Groomsport, County Down.

Today, yet again, we were cutting and burning gorse bushes.

The Dexter cattle were there.

there were about eight of us today.

Antrim Castle


SIR JOHN CLOTWORTHY was a very eminent person in the reign of CHARLES I.
He was so instrumental in forwarding the restoration of CHARLES II that he was immediately on that event, in 1660, created Baron Lough Neagh and VISCOUNT MASSEREENE, with remainder, on failure of male issue, to his son-in-law, Sir John Skeffington, husband of his only daughter Mary.
Further information about the Clotworthy family and their origins can be obtained here.

Lord Massereene died in 1665 and was suceeded by his son-in-law,

SIR JOHN SKEFFINGTON, 2nd Viscount, descended from a family which had been seated at the village of Skeffington, Lancashire, since the reign of EDWARD I.

He died in 1695 and was succeeded by his son,

CLOTWORTHY, 3rd Viscount (1660-1714), who married and had issue, his eldest son,

CLOTWORTHY, 4th Viscount, who wedded, in 1713, Lady Catherine Chichester, eldest daughter of Arthur, 4th Earl of Donegall. His eldest son,

CLOTWORTHY, 5th Viscount (1715-57), was, in 1756, advanced to an earldom as EARL OF MASSEREENE.

The 1st Earl wedded, in 1738, Anne, eldest daughter of the Very Rev Richard Daniel, Dean of Down, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

CLOTWORTHY, 2nd Earl (1743-1805), who married though having no male issue, the family honours devolved upon his brother,

HENRY, 3rd Earl, Governor of the city of Cork, who died unmarried in 1811, and was succeeded by his only surviving brother,

CHICHESTER, 4th Earl, who, in 1780, wedded Lady Harriet Jocelyn, eldest daughter of Robert, 1st Earl of Roden, and by her had issue,

The 4th Earl died in 1816, when the earldom expired; but the viscountcy of Massereene and barony of Lough Neagh devolved upon his only daughter and sole heiress,
HARRIET, VISCOUNTESS MASSEREENE, who married, in 1810, Thomas Henry, Viscount Ferrard, by whom she had issue,

The heir apparent is the present holder's son the Hon. Charles Clotworthy Whyte-Melville Foster Skeffington (born 1973).
Sir John Clotworthy took his title from the half barony of Massereene in County Antrim, where he established his estates.

In 1668, the Massereenes owned about 45,000 acres in Ireland; however, by 1701, the land appears to have shrunk to 10,000 acres; and, by 1713, the County Antrim estates comprised 8,178 acres.

Land acquisiton through marriage etc meant that the land-holdings amounted to 11,778 acres in 1887.

In the 1600s the Massereenes possessed the lucrative fishing rights to Lough Neagh by means of a 99-year lease and they were also accorded the honour, Captains of Lough Neagh, for a period.

The Chichesters, Earls of Belfast, were Admirals of Lough Neagh.

Historical records also tell us that Lord Massereene had the right to maintain a “fighting fleet” on the Lough.

The 12th Viscount Massereene and Ferrard DSO, was the last of the Skeffingtons to live at Antrim Castle:
The 12th Viscount was educated at Winchester and Sandhurst; commissioned into the 17th Lancers in 1895; saw action throughout the South African War, 1899-1902; was wounded, mentioned in dispatches and awarded the DSO; and retired as a brevet major in 1907.

Lord Massereene became a TA major in the North Irish Horse later in that year. He later served in the early years of the First World War and is said to have found Lawrence of Arabia 'impossible'. In 1905 he married and succeeded to the title.
He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for County Antrim. Although his father-in-law was a Liberal MP and Home Ruler, Lord Massereene was a staunch Conservative and Unionist. Notwithstanding his position as a DL for County Antrim, he is supposed to have sat in his chauffeur-driven car, looking on with approval, as guns were run into Larne Harbour in 1912!
He was HM Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim from 1916-38. From 1921-29 he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and a member of the Northern Ireland Senate.

ANTRIM CASTLE, County Antrim, stood at the side of the River Sixmilewater beside the town of Antrim.

It was originally built in 1613 by Sir Hugh Clotworthy and enlarged in 1662 by his son, the 1st Viscount Massereene.

The Castle was rebuilt in 1813 as a three-storey Georgian-Gothic castellated mansion, faced in Roman cement of an agreeable orange colour.

The original doorway, most elaborate and ornate and complete with Ionic pilasters, heraldry and a head of CHARLES I became a central feature of the new 4-bay entrance front, with a long, adjoining front of 180 feet with 11 bays; mullioned oriels and a tall, octagonal turret were added in 1887 when the Castle was again enlarged.

The image of the Castle above was taken in 1921, just before the disastrous fire.

Clicking on the images shall provide considerable detail.

The demesne boasts a remarkable 17th century formal garden and parterre with a long canal bordered with tall hedges; and another canal at right angles to it making a “T” shape.

There are abundant old trees, masses of yew and walls of rose-coloured brick.

An ancient motte stands beside the ruinous Castle.

The motte was transformed into a magnificent 'viewing mount' in the early 18th century with a corkscrew path lined on the outside with a yew hedge.

Lord and Lady Massereene and their family were hosting a grand ball in Antrim Castle when it was burnt by an IRA gang on the 28th October, 1922.

It is thought that one of the servants was an Irish Republican sympathizer; provided information to the gang; and left the Castle having packed his bags.

Many items of historical importance were destroyed in the fire; but the presence of mind of Lord Massereene and his staff, and the length of time which it takes for a very large house to be consumed by a fire, saved much that would otherwise have been lost.

The daughter of the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev Charles D'Arcy, who was staying at the time, jumped out of a window to save herself.

A 900-piece dinner service of Foster provenance was thrown from the drawing-room windows into the Sixmilewater river; however, very little of it survived intact.

A great deal of furniture, some of it large, was rescued.

More would have been rescued, except that the townspeople of Antrim, who turned out in large numbers to help, thought that the most important thing to be saved was the billiards table!

Thirty men managed to get it out of the castle.
Among the major survivals were the family portraits. A comparison with the portraits itemised by C.H. O'Neill in 1860 and those surviving in family possession today, suggests a rescue operation of astonishing success (although it has to be remembered that many portraits and other important pieces were probably in the London town house in 1922, or with the Dowager Lady Massereene at her house in Hampshire).
The 13th Viscount , who was a small boy at the time, recalled the blaze vividly.

He remembered being trapped with his mother in a light well from which they narrowly escaped, and being told by her that they were going to die there.

He particularly remembered the nursery cat with its fur on fire. I wonder if it survived.

Following the fire, Lord Massereene went to live in the nearby dower house, Skeffington Lodge (which subsequently became the Deer Park Hotel). Further losses of family treasures – this time by sale, not by fire – now followed.

The family considered building a two-storey, Neo-Tudor house on the site of Antrim Castle but nothing came of this.

Apparently no insurance compensation was paid, because arson could not be proved.

The ruin of the great mansion was finally removed about 1970.

After the Second World War, Skeffington Lodge was abandoned; the Antrim Castle stable block was converted for use as a family residence, and was re-named Clotworthy House.

It was let for about ten years following the death of Lord Massereene in 1956. Clotworthy was then acquired by Antrim Borough Council, and was converted for use as an Arts Centre in 1992.

The gardens are of great importance as they retain, in reasonable condition, features from the 17th century.

Whereas, at other sites in Ulster, later fashions dictated alterations in garden layout, at Antrim the formal style typical of European gardens of the 17th century remained little changed throughout successive generations.

The gardens are listed, naming the Long pond and Round Pond.

A great deal of the latter was wooded; became a deer park; and was set out in the early 19th century in clumps and shelter plantations in the landscape manner, but no longer survives in that form.

A fine stone bridge, the Deer Park Bridge, spans the river at a shallow point and formed a link between the demesne and the rest of the estate.

The Anglo-Norman motte adjacent to the house was made into a garden feature, with a yew-lined spiral walk leading to the top, from which views of the grounds, the town of Antrim and the river could (and can still) be enjoyed.

The castle and the motte were enclosed within a bawn and protected by artillery bastions, which were utilized for gardens from the 18th century.

The formal canals, linked by a small cascade and lined with clipped lime and hornbeam hedges, are the main attraction.

The wooded Wilderness is interspersed with straight paths that lead to vistas outside the demesne, which added to the impression that the area it covers is larger than it is.

Unfortunately most of the vistas have now been blocked.

A round pond is a feature in the wilderness. A small former parterre garden is now the family memorial ground.

A larger parterre was reconstructed in the 1990s and now forms a considerable ornamental area planted in the manner of a 17th century garden, including plants that were known to have been grown at that time.

The model for the layout comes from Castle Coole in County Fermanagh. This area is bounded by a fine clipped lime hedge and a venerable yew hedge.

Use of the site as an army camp in the last world war possibly accounts for the paucity of fine mature trees.

Other sections have suffered; the kitchen and ornamental Terrace Garden were destroyed in the 1960s, when a road was laid through part of the area.

The main gate lodge from the town, the Barbican Gate, was possibly built in 1818 to the designs of John Bowden and has been separated from the site by the intrusion of the road.

An underpass now connects the lodge entrance to the grounds.

Another gate lodge, at the farm and stables entrance on the Randalstown Road, has been demolished.

The stable block, built in the 1840s and now known as Clotworthy House, is used as an arts centre.

It replaced an earlier stable block immediately to the east of the house and assumed the name ‘House’ when the family went to live in it some time after the fire at the castle.

The estate and gardens are now owned by Antrim Borough Council and are open all the time for public access.

The 14th and present Viscount formerly lived with his family at Chilham Castle in Kent till it, too, was sold in 1996.

First Published in March, 2010.  Massereene arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Owden of Brooklands

JOHN OWDEN (1764-1811), of Talbot House, Cuckfield, and Brighton, Sussex (son of Richard Owden, Royal Navy, of London, married Anne, daughter of Thomas Scambler, of London (lineal descendant of the Rt Rev Edmund Scambler DD, Lord Bishop of Peterborough), in 1796.

His son,

JOHN OWDEN (1799-1867), of Brooklands, Belfast, and Sea Park, Carrickfergus, County Antrim, wedded Jane, daughter of John Greer, of Bernagh, County Tyrone, by Margaret his wife, daughter of Thomas Sinton, of Moyallan, County Down.

His only child,

MARGARET OWDEN (1842-1917), of Brooklands, wedded, in 1864, Thomas Greer JP, of Seapark, Carrickfergus, and Grove House, Regent's Park, London,
High Sheriff of Carrickfergus, 1870, and of County Tyrone, 1876; MP for Carrickfergus, 1880-85, and was the last representative at Westminster for that ancient borough.
The Greers had issue, three daughters and one son,
Helena MacGregor (1865-1948);
Thomas MacGregor (1869-1941), baptised at Templecorran, County Antrim; sold Sea Park and leased Tullylagan from his cousin Frederick; educated at Eton and Trinity Hall Cambridge;
Georgina Beatrice (1872-1956);
Eva Mildred (1874-1951).

BROOKLANDS, Belfast, was a stuccoed Neo-Classical Georgian house of two storeys built ca 1840 by John Owden on the site of an old farm.

It had a three-bay front, prolonged at one end by a two-bay single-storey wing, and a five-bay side.

It had a pilastered porch and a single-storey, partly-bowed projection on the side elevation.

The roof was eaved on a bracket cornice.

The original farm fronted the present Malone Road, though it was broken up by the new Lisburn Road in 1819, and the railway line twenty years later.

GROVE HOUSE, Regent's Park, London (initially called Grove Lodge) was designed by Decimus Burton and built in 1823-24 for George Bellas Greenough (the first president of the Geological Society and President of the Royal Geographical Society 1830-40), who had obtained a building lease from the Crown Estate.

On the death of Greenough in 1855, Grove House passed to Francis Smedley (High Bailiff of Westminster) and then to his son the author Francis Edward (Frank) Smedley.

Following his death Mrs Smedley continued to occupy the house until 1877.

The family connection was maintained by Thomas Greer who occupied the house from Christmas 1878 until death in 1905.

When the Greer family returned to Ulster in 1907, Grove House was purchased at auction by the artist Sigismund Goetze.

Seapark, Carrickfergus, County Antrim

First published in October, 2013.

Garron Tower


Garron Tower is a romantic, though austere, cliff-top Victorian castle of black basalt, built as a summer retreat by Frances, 3rd Marchioness of Londonderry, daughter and heiress of Sir Henry Vane-Tempest, Bt.

Lady Londonderry's mother was the 2nd Countess of Antrim in her own right.

Her daughter, Lady Frances Anne Emily (Fanny) Vane married the 7th Duke of Marlborough and their son, Lord Randolph, was later to become the father of Winston Churchill.

The estate lies midway between Cushendall and Carnlough on the County Antrim coast.

The problems of the Antrim estates were compounded by the failure of the 6th Earl of Antrim to produce a male heir.

Although he was granted a new patent for the earldom, which allowed his daughters to inherit and transmit the title to their children, the inheritance of the estate itself proved much more problematical.

The 6th Earl bequeathed his estates in his will to his three daughters and the resulting litigation lasted more than twenty years.

The Antrim estate itself was eventually divided: Lady Antrim's daughter, Lady Frances, who married the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, received one sixth; the remainder passed to Lady Charlotte, afterwards 3rd Countess of Antrim in her own right (Lady Mark Kerr) and her descendants.

Frances, Lady Londonderry, eventually bequeathed her portion of the estate to her younger son, who had no love for Garron Tower and neglected it.

After his death in 1884, the estate passed to her grandson, Lord Herbert Vane-Tempest KCVO VD JP (1862-1921), who was tragically killed in a train accident in Wales.

After his death the estate, including the building which is now the Londonderry Arms Hotel, passed to his second cousin, Sir Winston Churchill, who owned it until after the 2nd World War.

Being the Prime Minister, Sir Winston had no time for Garron Tower so it was donated to the British Tourist Industry which transformed it into a hotel; it was then devastated by fire and was later turned into a school which it still is today.

The main portion of the estate remained in the hands of the Earls of Antrim.

Upon the death of her mother in 1834, Frances Lady Londonderry inherited a portion of the Antrim Estate, almost 10,000 acres lying mostly between Glenarm and Glenariff.

Following much debate she decided to build a summer residence and in 1848 the foundation stone was laid for Garron Tower.

The principal guest at the opening of the Tower was the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Clarendon.

Coinciding with the end of the Famine in 1849, the four Coastguard cottages at 91 Garron Road were built as part of that estate.

Lady Londonderry showed a considerable interest in the day to day administration of her estate, demanding detailed reports from her agents.

She was a relentlessly improving landowner, encouraging agricultural improvement and endowing schools, clothing societies, etc.

The link with Lady Antrim's ancestral seat, Glenarm Castle, a few miles to the south is such that it was suspected Lady Londonderry's intention had been to upstage Glenarm Castle with the erection of Garron Tower.

GARRON TOWER, near Carnlough, County Antrim, was built in stages from 1848-56, initially to the designs of Charles Campbell, architect, of Newtownards, who had selected the site in 1847.

The house was ready for occupation by 1850.

A new hall, with a projecting rectangular bay facing eastwards, was added to the north of the polygonal tower in 1852, attributed to Lewis Valliamy of London.

A front porch was added in 1854.

The oak doors, which still survive inside, were carved by Austrian craftsmen.

After Lady Londonderry's death in 1865, it remained in the private hands of the family until rented by Henry McNeill of Larne in 1889 and opened as a hotel.

Garron Tower was leased from 1898.

Many of the original contents were sold by public auction in 1911.

The house was badly damaged by accidental fire in 1914; then it was bought by McNeill's firm in 1915.

It was burnt maliciously in 1922; and closed as a hotel in 1939.

From 1941-46, it was occupied by evacuated residents from the Belfast Charitable Society home at Clifton House, Belfast.

The Tower was converted for use as a school for the Catholic diocese of Down and Connor in 1951 to the design of Padraic Gregory, a Belfast architect, whose firm also designed various school buildings, added to the rear from time to time.

The battlemented retaining wall to the terrace walk in the garden, terminating in a circular magazine, was built in 1848 to the design of Campbell.

The cannon on the terrace were reputedly used at the Battle of Waterloo, and originally stood here on their original wheeled carriers.

The gate-lodge was built in 1854; the stable block added in 1860 to the design of Lanyon and Lynn; and the new chapel built in 1956 to the design of Mr Gregory.

The main gateway originally comprised two openwork iron piers with a pair of gates, all cast at the Londonderry foundry in Seaham, County Durham.

Garron has a dominant tower at one end of a lengthy building, polygonal with a square turret.

At the opposite end of the front a short wing projects forwards, ending in a rectangular tower and turret.

With the exception of somewhat prosaic machicolations and crenellations, the walls are quite featureless.

The mansion was enlarged in 1852 with the addition of a hall.

The main front used to be flanked by a terrace with a battery of cannon. Is this still the case today?

The position of Garron Tower is spectacular, on a plateau above the County Antrim coast.

There is some natural shelter on the west side from steeply rising ground and this has been clothed with trees.

Formerly the ornamental and productive gardens were to the west, somewhat protected from sea breezes by the castle, which stood facing south amid severe lawns decorated with urns.

Trees cover the area below the plateau, which drops sharply to the sea.

The grounds are adapted for school use and cultivated areas have disappeared.

There are notable specimens of Eucalyptus Globulus, planted in 1857.

Garron Tower is now a school,  St Killian's College.

First published in April, 2010.   Londonderry arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Castle Ward Visit

I spent a most agreeable three hours at Castle Ward yesterday, on what was a fine, sunny autumn day.

Castle Ward, County Down, is, of course, the ancestral seat of the Viscounts Bangor. Indeed, the family still has an apartment in the mansion house.

When I arrived I made a bee-line for the cafeteria in the stable-yard, where I had a delicious bowl of very thick curried carrot and parsnip soup, served with a generous slice of wheaten-bread.

Castle Ward has been a property of the National Trust since the early 1950s.

The Tack Room

I think the 7th Viscount gave the estate to the Northern Ireland government at the time as part of death duties.

After lunch, I took advantage of the free wi-fi in the stable-yard and posted a few photographs.

Thence I donned the wellington boots and had a long walk through the estate woodland.

I passed the former gamekeeper's cottage, otherwise known as the Bunkhouse; the pond; and a very large field with cattle.

BACK at the mansion house, I admired the prospect from the garden front of Strangford Lough.

Scrub and bushes have been cleared from the area between the house and the stable-yard outbuildings, revealing a very small single-storey cottage or bothy, which has obviously been derelict for many years.

I've been coming to Castle Ward since I was a boy and I've never seen this building before.

I wonder what its purpose was? Did it store something?

Bonito Cottage

Before I departed I visited the farmyard, where Old Castle Ward is located, and walked past the former smithy to the charming Bonito Cottage.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Raphoe Palace

IT is not precisely known at what time this see was established, but it must have been prior to the 10th century, since bishops of Raphoe are mentioned in the ninth.

This diocese comprises the greater part of County Donegal, being 56 miles in length from north to south, and 40 in breadth.

The cathedral, which also serves as a parish church, stands in the small town of Raphoe.

THE PALACE, Raphoe, County Donegal, otherwise known as Raphoe Castle, is a ruinous 17th century edifice on the outskirts of the town.

The castle was built in 1636 for the Right Rev John Leslie, Lord Bishop of Raphoe, 1633-61.

It was partly fortified, with square corner towers; two storeys over a basement.

The front comprised three bays, with an extra bay in each tower.

A third storey, with bartizans and battlements, was added in the 18th century by the Right Rev John Oswald.

The old palace was destroyed by fire in the 1830s.

The Right Rev William Bissett was the last Lord Bishop of Raphoe before the diocese was amalgamated with that of Derry.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Tullynally Castle


WILLIAM DE PAKENHAM was seated in Suffolk in the reign of EDWARD I.

The seventh in descent from him was

SIR HUGH PAKENHAM, who died in the reign of HENRY VII, leaving issue,
John (Sir), his successor;
Nicholas, grandfather of SIR EDWARD PAKENHAM;
Anne, mother of Sir Henry Sidney KG, Lord Deputy of Ireland.
The first member of the family who settled in Ireland,

SIR EDWARD PAKENHAM, Knight, accompanied his cousin, Sir Henry Sidney, to that kingdom in 1576, when Sir Henry went to assume the government there, as Lord Deputy.

The grandson of this gentleman,

HENRY PAKENHAM (1618-91), was seated at Pakenham Hall, County Westmeath, in the reign of CHARLES I, having obtained a grant of the lands of Tullynally, in that county, which he so designated.

This Henry represented the borough of Navan in parliament after the Restoration.

He married firstly, Mary, daughter of Robert Lill, of Trim, County Meath, by whom he had four sons and three daughters; and secondly, Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Pigot, by whom he had one son.

Mr Pakenham died in 1691, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR THOMAS PAKENHAM, Knight, MP, a lawyer of eminence, and prime sergeant-at-law in Ireland in 1695.

This gentleman dying in 1706, was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD PAKENHAM, MP for County Westmeath; who died in 1720, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS PAKENHAM (1713-66), who married, in 1739, Elizabeth, daughter and sole heir of Michael Cuffe, and niece of Ambrose Aungier, 2nd and last Earl of Longford (1st creation) of that family, to whom her father was heir.

This gentleman was created, in 1756, Baron Longford; and his lady, in 1785, Countess of Longford.

By this marriage his lordship had,
EDWARD MICHAEL, his successor;
Thomas, an admiral of the red;
Elizabeth; Frances; Helena.
His lordship was succeeded in the barony of Longford by his elder son,

EDWARD MICHAEL (1743-92), 2nd Baron, who married, in 1768, Catharine, second daughter of the Rt Hon Hercules Langford Rowley, and Elizabeth, Viscountess Langford, by whom he had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Edward Michael (Sir), GCB, major-general;
Hercules Robert (Sir), CB;
William, Captain RN;
Henry (Ven), Archdeacon of Emly;
Elizabeth; Helen; Catherine; Helen; Caroline Penelope.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS (1774-1835), 3rd Baron, who inherited the EARLDOM OF LONGFORD at the decease of his grandmother, Elizabeth, Countess of Longford, in 1794.

The 2nd Earl espoused, in 1817, Lady Georgiana Emma Charlotte Lygon, daughter of William, 1st Earl Beauchamp, and had issue,
EDWARD MICHAEL, his successor;
William Lygon;
Thomas Alexander;
Charles Reginald;
Henry Robert;
Frederick Beauchamp;
Francis John;
Catherine Felicia; Georgiana Sophia; Louisa Elizabeth.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD MICHAEL (1817-60), 3rd Earl,
The heir apparent is the present holder's eldest son Edward Melchior Pakenham, styled Lord Silchester.

TULLYNALLY CASTLE, otherwise Pakenham Hall, near Castlepollard, County Westmeath, has been the home of the Pakenhams for over 350 years.

The original 17th century fortified house was remodelled first as a comfortable Georgian mansion, then as a huge rambling gothic revival castle in the early 1800s, by the 2nd Earl.

Mark Bence-Jones describes it as having
a long, picturesque sky-line of towers, turrets, battlements and gateways stretching among the trees of its rolling park. Tullynally covers a greater area than than any other castellated country house in Ireland; it looks not so much like a castle as a small fortified town; a Camelot of the Gothic Revival.
It inhabited in as the family home, now probably one of the largest in Ireland to survive in private hands.

The interiors, part Georgian, part Gothic revival, have a fine collection of furniture and pictures.

Guided tours also take in the splendid Victorian kitchens and laundries, complete with all their equipment.

The gardens, like the castle are on a magnificent scale, taking in nearly 12 acres.

Terraced lawns around the castle overlook superb 18th century parkland.

The adjoining woodland gardens and walled gardens date largely from the early 19th century and encompass a grotto of eroded limestone from nearby Lough Derravaragh and two ornamental lakes.

The present owners have added a Chinese garden, complete with pagoda and a Tibetan garden of waterfalls and streams; and a local sculptor has made fantastic woodcarvings in existing roots and trees.

The walled gardens have extensive flower borders and an avenue of magnificent 200 year old Irish yews.

For children, there is also an Adventure Trail leading to the lower lake, and for those who wish to take the gardens more slowly, there is an assortment of delightful, ornamental summer houses and seats, each offering a different view.

First published in November, 2011.   Longford arms courtesy of European Heraldry.