Sunday, 29 January 2017

Castle Ward Project

The National Trust has embarked on an ambitious conservation project at Castle Ward, Strangford, County Down, which will see a refurbishment of the Temple and the restoration of historic paths and vista points.

The man-made landscape of the Temple Water area, conceived by the Wards, Viscounts Bangor, is one of the most important late 17th and early 18th century gardens to survive in Northern Ireland.

The National Trust's general manager for South Down, Jonathan Clarke, remarked,
Over the years the design of the landscape has become obscured by self-seeded trees, poor drainage and other changes. 
As a conservation charity we are committed to protecting our special places for ever, for everyone and so we are restoring this hidden part of Castle Ward to enhance visitor enjoyment and understanding of the area. 
We anticipate the project will take three years and will include the repair of the Temple and improvements to the parkland that will open up views of both Audley’s Castle and Strangford Lough.
The lake at Castle Ward, known as Temple Water, will be central to the restoration project.

The Temple Water, Castle Ward

Features planned for restoration include the crumbling stone sides of the Temple Water which have been weakened by tree roots over the years.


The Temple will also be refurbished and the original paths will be reinstated, creating a picturesque route around the Temple with spectacular viewpoints.


Historic paths will be reinstated along Lime Tree Walk and visitors will be able to grace the reinstated historic steps on the Yew Tree Terraces.

The viewing mound and early 18th century Ward family home, the Green House, will both be revealed and interpreted.

The walled garden will be levelled and a planting design scheme started.

It will also be opened for public viewing.

The Temple

Improvements will also be made to access around the Temple Water by reinstating former pathways and steps; repairing drains; creating pockets of natural biodiversity; removing some inappropriate trees; pruning others, and planting new trees in locations based on early demesne maps. 

Enhanced interpretation will also be installed to enable everyone to share in the story of the Ward family and their grand designs.

Map of 1835 showing the Green House

A team of National Trust specialists including curators, archaeologists, historic gardens advisers and interpretation designers will be available to provide advice and work together to bring the Temple Water back to the late 17th early 18th century design.

The final picture will be a grand formal and unexpected statement in the midst of rolling landscape.

Bangor arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

It would be great to see the walled garden replanted. I remember as a child how delighted I was to come across the walled garden full of flowers and interesting plants, yet kind of tucked away so you wouldn't have noticed it without making a slight detour. I was saddened to see it slightly derelict when visiting a couple of years ago. VC