Enjoy a great family day out in the beautiful surrounds of Powerscourt House and Gardens on March 16th from 12.30-3pm. Imaginosity, Dublin Children's Museum has teamed up with Powerscourt to present a programme of child-focused events to celebrate Irish culture.
This St. Patrick's Weekend they will be taking Oisin, Niamh, Lir, three swans, a magical land of eternal youth, an angry giant and a fierce warrior, mixing them together and inviting your family to take part in a fun drama workshop which will truly bring the past to life! This is a fun introduction to Irish myths and legends for young children.
Included in the ticket price is entry to the beautiful Powerscourt Gardens. With over 47 acres to explore, children will love playing and walking along the winding pathways and rambling walks of Powerscourt. Spend time as a family at Powerscourt this bank holiday weekend; from the Pet’s Cemetery to the Pepper Pot Tower, there is so much to see and explore! Warm up afterwards with a hot chocolate and rice crispie bun for kids and a coffee and scone for mum and dad at the Avoca Terracé Café in Powerscourt House. Booking is essential, book online through the Powerscourt Website: www.powerscourt.ie/events
Venue: Powerscourt House & Gardens, Powerscourt Estate Enniskerry, County Wicklow.
Contact Details: W: www.powerscourt.ie/events T: (01) 204 6000
Date and Time: March 16th, 12.30-3pm (On the half-hour)
Booking Required: Book Online on www.powerscourt.ie/events
Cost: €8.50 adult, €5.00 child, child under 5 free, €25.00 family of 2 adults & 3 children. Annual members tickets are €2 each for adult and children.
The Tree Council of Ireland has selected Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow as the venue for the Launch of National Tree Week (2nd to 8th March 2014). The festivities will get underway on Sunday 2nd March at 2pm at this family-friendly event. The trees on the estate have been planted over the past two centuries and there are hundreds of varieties for you to discover.
There is so much to look forward to at the launch of National Tree Week at Powerscourt including a giveaway of over 2,000 trees thanks to Coillte. Enjoy an opportunity to meet tree specialists, wood turners, bee-keepers and basket weavers and learn about these crafts and pastimes. Activities for children include a climbing wall, archery lessons and face-painting.
Special events to mark National Tree Walk at Powerscourt include guided walks of the trees in the Powerscourt Gardens with Head Gardener Michael Byrne and John McLoughlin from the Tree Council. Michael Byrne will also lead a special walk to the tallest tree in Ireland, located on the Powerscourt River Walk, to mark the occasion. For dates and times of these guided walks, visit www.powerscourt.ie/events. All of the events, with the exception of the guided walks, are free of charge.
National Tree Week is sponsored by the National Tree Council, Coillte, Airtricity and Powerscourt Estate.
We look forward to seeing you here!
The magical miniature world of Tara’s Palace Museum of Childhood is located on the first floor of Powerscourt House, Enniskerry. The Museum is home to Ireland’s Largest Period Doll House, Tara’s Palace. All profits are donated to Irish Children's Charities. We go behind the scenes at Tara's Palace and meet one of their volunteers, Mary Moore:
"I retired two years ago and was looking for something new to be involved with!
I heard about a place called 'Tara’s Palace Museum of Childhood' and not knowing quite what was involved I went to investigate. What a hidden treasure! I found the most amazing doll's house possibly one of the biggest in the world. The craftsmanship of the furniture in it was incredible and it was all done by Irish craftsmen. Miniature Waterford glass pieces, miniature books, food, toys, there was so much to see.
There were many other displays of dolls houses at Tara's Palace, a collection of Teddy bears, an amazing collection of dinky cars, a house made of shells, a zoo made of buttons, the smallest doll in the world and lots more all in the beautiful surroundings of Powerscourt Estate in Wicklow.
There are about 25 volunteers at Tara's Palace and each one gives up one afternoon or morning a week.
Both adults and children enjoy a visit to Tara's Palace. There is a quiz for children which changes every season, for example at Christmas Time, Easter and Halloween. As part of the quiz, children search for things in the palace and try and find Tara who lives there, she tends to move things around a lot!!
there is also an interactive room for children to colour in and a shop from Hamleys that was made in the mid 20th Century that they love to play in.
Throughout the year both the house and the Museum is decorated for Easter, St. Patricks Day, Halloween and Christmas. At the moment, it is snowing in the garden of the Palace and soon spring will arrive.
We have lots of craft days at Tara's Palace making miniatures such as hats, bead making and collage making.
I enjoy showing this treasure off so much and telling our visitors all about it. We have lots of return visitors throughout the year.
This has been a find for me and pleasure to work in. The great thing is all the profits go to children’s charities in Ireland.
I have met people from all over the world and made some good friends amongst the volunteers.
Come in and see us soon!
Since opening in July of last year The Design Loft has showcased over 45 local business all selling and promoting their handmade creations! Now it is time for the Wedding Designers and Makers to show off their talents with The Wedding Showcase at The Design Loft @ Powerscourt, Enniskerry.
You’ve heard of the Wedding Fairs in hotels a couple of times a year, you’ve heard of the Wedding Events in large event venues and now in a more relaxed environment with over 20 local businesses to browse through we are bringing you The Wedding Showcase which will be held for three weeks at The Design Loft in Enniskerry Co Wicklow during the month of February.
Open 7 days a week 11am-5pm, this will give plenty of time for meeting these businesses in a relaxed environment and also to enjoy Powerscourt Gardens and of course the AVOCA cafe! Brilliant!
Local Leinster suppliers to the wedding industry will display and sell their creations including wedding cakes, dresses, flowers, favours, invitations, accessories, cars and photography.
While a showcase like this is supporting local businesses, Sinead Buckley Quinn, the owner and curator of The Design Loft retail gallery, says “it can be frustrating going to large Wedding Shows and trying to find a local photographer or dress designer to your area. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack! This way you know that the suppliers are all local within a 50 mile radius of Enniskerry!”
Not only will you find the usual suppliers but you will find unusual creations like the silk and beaded floral bouquet from DVM Jewellery which is hand sewn by Deborah von Metzradt.
Come and enjoy a “One stop shop for all that all important day, with wedding suppliers from around the area showcasing until the end of February”
These evergreen skyscrapers are giant redwood or sequoia trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum). Planted here at Powerscourt around 1870, these gigantic trees can grow to 80m and live for over 3,500 years in their native Northern California. So these trees are still youngsters!
Adapted for wildfire
A number of features of these trees highlight how they have become adapted to dealing with the periodic wildfires which scorch their native land.
Stand under the towering canopy and feel the redwood’s unusual soft, spongy bark. This protective bark, which can be over 30cm thick in mature trees, contains tannins which provide significant defence against wildfire.
You may be lucky enough to spot the speckled brown back of the treecreeper (Certhia familiaris), as it runs mouse-like up the trunk, searching for insects hiding in the bark. The enormous redwoods are prime real-estate for these small birds, as the spongy bark is perfect for excavating nesting sites.
At any one time, these conifers will have thousands of oval cones attached along their branches. Can you find one lying around the base of the tree?
This cone may stay closed for over 20 years, waiting for the ideal time to release its hundreds of tiny delicate seeds. The seeds are only able to grow well in full sunlight, free from competing vegetation. Thus the cones have adapted to use the occurrence of wildfire to their advantage. As the heat rises the cones will dry out, releasing the seeds onto newly cleared, mineral-rich soil, where they can have the best chance of survival.
Visit Powerscourt today to see these beautiful trees!
Powerscourt Golf Club warmly welcomes the news that it has been voted the best Parkland Venue in Ireland for 2014 by the Golfers Guide to Ireland. Located on the 1,000 acre Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, Powerscourt features two Championship courses designed by Peter McEvoy and David McLay Kidd.
The annual awards are organized by the Golfers Guide to Ireland, one of the most popular golf magazines in Ireland, to recognize outstanding performers in the Irish golf industry.
(L-R) Paddy McCarthy (Publisher, Golfers Guide to Ireland), Bernard Gibbons (General Manager, Powerscourt Golf Club), Michael Ring TD (Minister of State for Tourism & Sport)
Out of the 23 awards delivered on the evening, Powerscourt Golf Club was delighted to scoop the overall award for Best Parkland Venue. Bernard Gibbons, General Manager for Powerscourt Golf Club, said:
“To be honoured with such a prestigious award is a true testament to both the quality and service which is synonymous with Powerscourt Estate. Competing in today’s golfing climate we’re excited to have made such a significant impact and will continue to provide the best golf experience for our members and visitors. This award is representative of all the hard work, effort and commitment to excellence put in by the entire team at Powerscourt Golf Club.”
Paddy Mc Carthy, Publisher of the Golfers Guide to Ireland commented: “Powerscourt Golf Club situated in the magnificent Powerscourt Estate offers the golfer a choice of two terrific courses with stunning scenery and beautifully manicured greens and fairways. Its location only a short distance from Dublin City makes it a popular choice for visitors who are assured of a five star experience from start to finish. It is therefore no great surprise that Powerscourt have been voted Best Parkland Venue Overall in the 2014 Golfers Guide to Ireland Awards.”
(L-R) Bernard Gibbons, Paul Thompson, Stephen Goff, Aoife O’Driscoll, Paul Farren, Joe Deignan (All from Powerscourt Golf Club), pictured with Michael Ring TD (Minister of State for Tourism & Sport)
Powerscourt has hosted many prestigious tournaments throughout its history including the 1998 Irish PGA Championship, won by Padraig Harrington, the 2001 Irish Seniors Open and the 2012 PGA Southern Championship. It has been the venue of choice for many of the Mens’ and Ladies Golfing Unions of Ireland events, as well as the popular annual Powerscourt PGA PRO AM.
After the indulgences of the Christmas season, and with particularly with the crazy weather we have had of late (!), there is nothing better than grabbing your coat and trainers and heading out for a walk on a crisp winter day. The glow of warm winter sun and blue skies when we are lucky, make for an incredible day out! Here at Powerscourt, we have many walks for you to enjoy year-round. Here are some ideas to get your started this January!
1. The Avenue along Powerscourt Estate: The mile-long Avenue at Powerscourt features row upon row of beech trees, some of which are 200 years old. The avenue looks incredible in the winter sun when the light falls on the pale beech trees. You will see families, couples, parents and babies in prams and joggers and runners together all enjoying this wonderful walkway. It's free of charge to visit and can be enjoyed for an early morning stroll or after work run.
2. Stairway through the Italian Gardens: If you want to test your fitness levels this January, here are the stairs for you! From the Terraces of the Italian Garden through to Triton Lake, this walkway through Powerscourt Gardens gives some of the most expansive views of the gardens, and indeed the Wicklow countryside and Sugarloaf Mountain beyond. Magic!
3: A Winter's walk through Tower Valley: Tower Valley is one of the more mystical and wild parts of Powerscourt Gardens. From the great heights of it's trees to the wild flora and fauna that abound throughout this woodland, there is much to see and enjoy. It's a very relaxing walk and is a favourite with nature lovers.
4. The Beauty of the River Walk, Powerscourt Estate: The River Walk is truly one of the hidden gems of County Wicklow. At present, just annual members of Powerscourt and hotel guests of the Powerscourt Hotel can access it so it remains unspoilt and one of the quietest parts of the Estate. Our members love to enjoy walks with their families and even their dogs here in the untamed woodland and pathways that meander along the Dargle River. It's a must see.
5. Rhododendron Heaven in Powerscourt Gardens: One of the quietest parts of the Gardens is the Rhododendron Walk, which is also our Head Gardener Michael Byrne's most favourite spot at Powerscourt. It is difficult to imagine without being here, how colourful and alive the Rhododendron Walk is in Spring, when you are surrounded by blooms from every angle. Even in Winter, it's a gorgeous place to walk and absorb the nature around you. Stop and take a few moments to hear the birdsong and be still and quiet as you may spot a red squirrel as we have often done at Powerscourt!
6. The must-see Lake in Powerscourt Gardens: The walkway that surrounds Triton Lake lets you enjoy a 360 degree view of Powerscourt at it's best. From the Winged Horses that watch over the Lake, to the sounds of the fountain beyond, this is one of the most majestic parts of Powerscourt Gardens. Don't miss a visit to the boathouse, hidden to one side of Lake where you can explore Powerscourt from a different angle!
7. Lord Londonderry's Walk, Powerscourt Gardens:This is one of my favourite spots in Powerscourt Gardens. On a sunny day, you would not believe the heat and power of the Winter Sun that can be enjoyed when resting on the stone bench. It towers over the Japanese Gardens so you get the best seat in the house in terms of a viewpoint! This beautiful bench was built in honour of Lord Londonderry, the stepfather of Lord Powerscourt as it was a favourite spot for him to visit. The area surrounding the bench is known as "Lord Londonderry's Walk."
8. The Walled Garden, Powerscourt Gardens: The Walled Garden at Powerscourt is the place to visit if you enjoy statuary, fine gates, flowers, topiary, or all of the above! The winter bedding is now in, adding some welcome colour at this time of year. Julia's Memorial is a restful and quiet place to stop for a moment or two. Listen to the trickle of the fountain and be surprised by the statuary next to it. There are an interesting collection of characters here!
9. A Reclaimed Garden for you to enjoy: The Japanese Garden features perennial shrubs and a wonderful range of trees at any time of year. It was made on reclaimed bogland to the south of Triton Lake and I for one, am very glad that Lord and Lady Powerscourt created this treasure in 1908! The Pagoda is a great spot to stop and watch the world go by and there are lots of trickling streams under pretty Japanese bridges too. Don't miss the Grotto which feels like part of another world - with its moss covered walls with rivers running along them in the rain, it is truly romantic!
10. Last but not least...are the beautiful walkways along Powerscourt Waterfall. There's a trail through the Waterfall which will lead you along woodland paths, over rivers and past hundreds of different kinds of trees. When you first walk towards the Waterfall, your breath will be taken away by the sight of the giant Redwood Trees which tower above the landscape. A great place to take the kids out of the house on a nice winter's day!
Plan Your Visit to Powerscourt today!
The year has passed by in a whirlwind! We had over 40 events this year at Powerscourt and hope to have even more for you to enjoy next year. From treasure hunts and guided walks to gardening workshops, bug hunts and theatre evenings we have all enjoyed this year's events so much and hope you have too. Many thanks to all of our customers and friends who attended our events, spread the word and shared their stories afterwards with great photos and blogs. It's been a great year so let's look back now and enjoy some memories :)
Our events programme kicked off in March with a visit from the Irish Ghosthunters as they investigated some paranomal activity at Powerscourt. There have been lots of spooky sightings at Powerscourt over the years and we had 60 members of the public along to experience some of them alongside the team! A trip to the Pepper Pot Tower in the pitch black of night was definitely among the scarier moments!
National Tree Week at Powerscourt got off to a great start in early March with a guided walk of the trees in Powerscourt Gardens with Crann. It was a very cold day but 50 brave souls braved the elements and we warmed up with tea and coffee afterwards in Powerscourt House.
Imaginosity, Dublin Children's Museum were on hand to launch 'The Gathering' at Powerscourt for St.Patrick's Day. It was a fantastic family day out, with Shamrock face-painting and a Ceili in the Grand Entrance Hall followed by a 'Shamrock Treasure Hunt' in Powerscourt Gardens.
At Easter, families enjoyed 'Tink’s Treasure Trail' through the gardens, a nature trail inspired by the many different plants and flowers that are in bloom in the grounds of Powerscourt.
Head Gardener Michael and his team's hard work paid off when over 10,000 beautiful tulips arrived in Powerscourt as part of the annual Tulip Festival in April. Michael gave some brilliant guided walks this year on the Tulips, Rhododendron Walk and much more as the gardens progressed through each of the seasons. One of my favourite events was a 'Behind the Scenes' tour with Michael where we learnt how to clean the statues in the gardens and how he mows the sloped lawns!
'The Wicklow Gardens Festival' in May and June saw some fantastic gardening and tree experts visit the gardens. Michael Seery kept us entertained with the 'Hidden Gems' of Powerscourt walking tour while President of the RHSI Robert Myerscough provided a fantastic tour of the trees of Powerscourt Gardens.
One of the highlights of the year was our afternoon of ourdoor theatre featuring the one and only Sherlock Holmes in June. Over 200 people came along to Powerscourt armed with delicious picnics and rugs and made a day of it in the gardens. The Irish Times were there to cover the event on the most sunniest of days and the feedback from you all was terrific.
Photo copyright of The Irish Times
Photo copyright of The Irish Times
The amazing heatwave this summer meant we all got so many fantastic days outdoors with our families. Many of you came to walk and play in the gardens for Imaginosity's Enchanted Walk in July where a fictional 'Lady Powerscourt' led families on a tour of the gardens with myths and fairytales.
Over 150 sparking and shiny vintage cars turned out for the annual Vintage Car Run at Powerscourt as part of Heritage Week in August. We were serenaded by cool sounds of jazz and had a lovely time chatting with the car owners and posing for photos beside their cars.
Also as part of Heritage Week, Imaginosity were back with us again for a performance of the play 'A Selfish Giant' and outdoor games at Powerscourt Waterfall.
The Wicklow Mountains National Park services kindly gave a wonderful Bat Walk along Powerscourt River Walk at Powerscourt in September where many bats reside.
We weren thrilled with the fabulous turnout we got for our foraging walk along the River Walk in September! Over 150 people came along to learn about all the wonderful edible things in our environment, it was a great day out.
One of the highlights of the year was the 'Perils of Powerscourt' at Halloween, a spooky walk designed by Imaginosity through the grounds of Powerscourt. Over 600 people came along on the day. With 800 years of history, Powerscourt has a wealth of spooky stories perfect for Halloween!
In November, we were thrilled to discover that the tallest tree in Ireland is located right here on Powerscourt Estate! Head Gardener Michael Byrne brought a large crowd down to see the tree along Powerscourt River Walk and for a tour of this beautiful and quiet part of the estate.
Last but not least! The wonderful Santa and Mrs Claus are back again at Powerscourt House for the month of December. It's been another wonderful year at Powerscourt and we look forward to putting on lots more events for you in 2014. A very happy Christmas to you from everyone at Powerscourt Estate.
"Many poetic writers have likened Ireland to paradise itself and this is a recurring theme in the poetry of W.B. Yeats. He had thoughts of Ireland, as a land beyond a land, in a time beyond a time, as in “The Everlasting Voices.”
“…..You call in birds, in wind on the hill, In shaken boughs, in tide on the shore?”
George Bernard Shaw implies “To live were the facts are not brutal. And the dreams not unreal.”
More recently Seamus Heaney in his poem “Postscript”:
“Useless to think you’ll park and capture it more thoroughly. You are neither here nor there.”
Ireland is mild and green. The climate doesn’t vary much and the air is soft, softer than I’ve noticed anywhere else, while the soil, full of peat, is watered by fine mist and rain.
It was a lovely day and following the road we soon reached Enniskerry a village known as the most beautiful in Ireland. Situated in an area known as the Garden of Ireland, it came into being as a result of the large Powerscourt demesne nearby.
The name Powerscourt derives from the Norman de la Poer. They first built a castle here in 1337, but in 1603, James I granted the estate to one of his generals, Sir Richard Wingfield, and they became the Viscounts Powerscourt.
Situated beneath the Sugar Loaf mountain, famous for its historic white quartz stone, the gardens on this estate, like the nearby village, are considered, by many, the most beautiful in Ireland.
Besides the mist and rain, water is essential, and the gardens are conveniently situated near the river Dargle and one of the highest waterfalls in the British Isles. This waterfall situated a few miles away, takes a special trip to view it.
We bought tickets and drove two kilometers along the main driveway lined by tall beech trees. This plantation also contains shrubberies and a deer park with some of Ireland’s famous red deer.
Eventually we approached the formal gates and saw on the right the Araucaria walk. This avenue of “Monkey Puzzle” trees planted one hundred and twenty years ago, is very shady and the fact that the trees are there at all, is proof of the astonishing fertility of the soil, in fact, other trees grown at Powerscourt are rare Dragon trees, so tender that they survive only in the gentlest air.
We entered the garden and were soon confronted by a path running through a large expanse of smooth lawn. There were many beautiful roses on the left hand side, while to the right were trees and statues. At the end of the walk there was a magnificent gilded gate, the famous 1770 Bamberg gate, coming originally from Bamberg Cathedral.
The next garden was filled with flower beds and hot houses. I peeped into one of the hot houses and saw amongst the orchids and ferns, petunias, and impatiens, plants that flourish in the Southern hemisphere.
The next gate was the gilded Chorus Gate, and through this we reached the house itself. The Mansion is an elegant grey structure of thee stories. The vast terrace, dating from 1900, includes the Venetian Gate, while displayed on the lawn are several statues, including Apollo Belverdere, Diana and Fame and Victory.
A broad shallow flight of steps leads down to a wide lawn, and beyond this is the remarkable Perron, which is the focus of the Italian garden started in 1840 by the sixth Visount. Similar to that at the Villa Butera in Sicily, this Perron by Francis Penrose, sets thousands of small black and white stones into the first upper terrace, creating a magical touch. Another magical touch is the fact that the granite pebbles were brought from the nearby seaside village of Bray, the young son, only seven at the time, placing the first stone. Other interesting features are a group of bronze children similar to those at Versailles called “The Infanti ,” and actual urns from Versailles. Many varieties of flowers are found from tulips, daffodils, and dahliahs, to pansies, and violets.
Taking twelve years to build and more than a hundred gardeners, all five terraces and the lake comprise the magnificent Italian garden. Descending the terraces takes you to the Triton’s lake, so named because of the large Triton man fountain in the centre. It throws a jet of water one hundred feet into the air and is modelled on one found in the Piazza Barberini in Rome created by Bernini. Flanking the path above the water are two rampant winged horses or Pegasi. They stand at the foot of the last flight of steps and represent the heraldic supporters of the Wingfield arms. The lake is filled with water lilies and below the Pegasi are two “Spitting Men” originally from Milan, with a sun dial between them that has the inscription, “I only mark the sunny hours.”
On the banks of the lake there is a small man made inlet obviously used for the mooring of a small boat. Boating must be interesting, as the jet of water from the fountain, descends in a large spray that falls over most of the lake. The water is filled, as I mentioned with water-lilies, that come into bloom in Summer, when wild duck also make an appearance. The water is very clear and many small pebbles are visible in the shallows, while elusive eel and fish hide in the deeper water.
I continued on the left hand side of the lake. Blending perfectly with the formal garden, this part of the garden is very natural, and there were many little walks branching off from the main path that led into grassy areas beneath the trees. There really is nothing more enticing than cool grass beneath shady trees and I eventually followed a little path into the woods. Here in the shade, is an area where red deer graze quite calmly beneath the trees. In the distance I heard children playing , they must have found a glen somewhere beneath the Pepper Pot Tower. The eighth Viscount was the Chief Scout of Ireland in 1911 and he built the tower, modelled on one of his pepper pots. He could view all his scouts from the top and needless to say the tower also has the best view of the gardens. Interestingly many of the finest trees and shrubs are found in Tower Valley, several of them native to North America.
Listening to a lawn mower buzzing in the distance I found a shady walk, and moving through sunlit tipped rhododendrons and azaleas, reached the Japanese Garden. Laid out by the eighth Viscount and Viscountess, over a century ago, the route around the garden is a series of concentric circles flanked by stone lanterns. The innermost circle is in front of the Pagoda and crosses a small stream using several bridges. The next circle is lined by Chinese Fortune palms and the last circles runs around the garden at the foot of a small cliff. As it was Summer azaleas, rhododendrons, Japanese primula and cherry blossom were in flower, while in Autumn many coloured Japanese Maples come into bloom. With a view of the Sugar Loaf mountain, this garden is best viewed from above. Walking inwards we discover our innermost selves, while walking outwards and upwards we come to a knowledge of the world around us. A philosophical view most appropriate to Powerscourt.
From there, moving towards the base of the lake, I passed through a shady grove of tall dark trees, some of them elms, planted several centuries ago. The atmosphere was so truly relaxing and tranquil that I felt what I was experiencing, was better than a good nights sleep and knew it was a memory I’d never forget.
From there I moved to the grotto, also one of the oldest features of the garden. Built in 1740, from petrified sphagma, found on the banks of the river Dargle, it has remained a garden from another era. As I walked down a slope leading to a little stream, I came upon an area very natural and luxuriantly green, where near the water I saw small plants with large leaves. Despite the many trees, sunlight filtered through the foliage lighting the scene just sufficiently for all the plants to glow, and for a time I knew I was in another dimension. This grotto has been preserved near the retaining wall of the Triton’s Lake and two centuries ago was turned into a “Fernery.” Little secret pathways lead under stone archways to areas where you can view ferns and water tumbling down in small waterfalls to a pool below.
Walking amidst the rhododendrons, azaleas and roses on the other side, there is the the “Pets Cemetry,” known as the largest in Ireland. Interred on a gradual slope are childrens’ ponies, cows, dogs and cats and more than a score of little grave stones are found, many of the personal inscriptions still visible. This made me recall the Italian sun dial, with the inscription “I only mark the sunny hours.”
Passing through more flowering rhododendrums, there is an area near the Dolphin Pond, where a fountain with a central jet surrounded by dolphins, spouts water five meters into the air. This is also an older part of the gardens and the actual pond is found on a 1740 landscape map. The fountain was bought a century later in Paris, by the seventh Viscount. There are some magnificent conifirs here, including Japanese cedars and giant Wellingtonias.
From there I entered the Walled gardens. A calm reflective pond and an attractive centerpiece in the first garden, is the memorial to Julia, wife of the seventh earl, for it was she who planted the garden with flowers, it having previously been filled with kitchen plants and fruit trees. The seventh Earl always said that this lovely garden was “one of the greatest pleasures of my life.” The edifice designed by her son, is a fitting memorial to Julia. Many flowers including tulips, daffodils, fox gloves, poppies, and delphiniums, as well as dahlias, cyclamen and fuschia grow here. The Walled gardens also include the longest herbaceous borders in Ireland and a famous rose garden.
The formal gardens, drawing attention to the mountain, were started in 1740 by Richard Wingfield, the third Viscount, at the time of the first “Irish Famine.” This was caused by extremely cold weather in Europe and Britain during the last cold period of a little ice age, between 1400 and 1800. The Viscount employed many gardeners and fed one hundred a fifty starving people each a day.
The sixth Viscount died in 1844, one hundred years later, at the time of “The Great Potatoe Famine.” He had already planned the Italian Garden, so this would have been the attention of his widow and the young, seventh Viscount, only eight at the time. The young man naturally continued the work when he was older, again creating work for many gardeners. Enniskerry was founded, at this time, by the building of St. Patrick’s church.
From Norman times until today, the owners of this estate and it’s now famous gardens, have shown a passionate interest in other peoples, as reflected in the personal collection of international statues and plants on display. Moving inwards we discover ourselves and moving outwards we discover the world around us.
After passing through another ornate gate the famous English Gate displaying the Rose, Thistle, Shamrock and Feather emblems, I reluctantly found the main pathway once more. First planted over four centuries ago, this garden is one that I know, instinctively, can hold many delights both individual and collective, for any who care to visit it."
Jenny Babic, 2013
With many thanks to Jenny for such a wonderful article on Powerscourt!
Timothy Ferres has kindly put together a most interesting article on the different generations of the Wingfield Family at Powerscourt since the early 1660's. Many thanks Timothy! The following is a slightly adapted version of his blog article. Visit Timonthy's website for more interesting articles related to heraldry, the nobility and much more!
The Viscounts Powerscourt were the second largest landowners in County Wicklow, with over 40,986 acres. Prior to coming to Ireland, the family lived at Wingfield Castle in Suffolk in the U.K.
Sir Richard Wingfield (1550-1634) was made Marshal of Ireland by Elizabeth I; and by James I, for his military achievements and was created Viscount Powerscourt in 1618.
The title 'Viscount Powerscourt' expired in 1634, on Lord Powerscourt's death, without any male children; but was conferred, in 1665, on his male heir, Folliott Wingfield (1642-1717), 1st Viscount of the 2nd creation; who also died without male issue, in 1717, when the title became extinct. Then, Powerscourt Estate descended to:
Edward Wingfield, ESQ, knight, of Carnew, County Wicklow,
"A distinguished soldier under the Earl of Essex, and a person of great influence and power in Ireland. He married Anne, daughter of Lord Cromwell and sister of Thomas, 1st Earl of Ardglass."
The 7th Viscount Powerscourt (Pictured)
His only son,
Richard Wingfield (1697-1751), was, in 1743, elevated to the family honours by the titles of Baron Wingfield and Viscount Powerscourt of the 3rd creation.
Richard Wingfield, 1st Viscount (1697–1751)
Edward Wingfield, 2nd Viscount (1729-64)
Richard Wingfield, 3rd Viscount (1730-88)
Richard Wingfield, 4th Viscount (1762-1809)
Richard Wingfield, 5th Viscount (1790–1823)
Richard Wingfield, 6th Viscount (1815-44)
Mervyn Wingfield, 7th Viscount (1836–1904)
Mervyn Richard Wingfield, 8th Viscount (1880–1947)
Mervyn Patrick Wingfield, 9th Viscount (1905-73)
Mervyn Niall Wingfield, 10th Viscount (born 1935)
Sheila Wingfield, 9th Viscountess
The heir apparent is the present holder's son the Hon. Mervyn Anthony Wingfield (born 1963)
Many thanks Timothy