Ardgillan Castle and Demesne is Ireland’s hidden gem. Set in spectacular parklands overlooking the Irish Sea with a magnificent view of the Mourne Mountains. The ‘castle’ is a large eighteenth century country-style house with castellated embellishments. The park consists of 194 acres of rolling open grassland, mixed woodland and gardens, overlooking the Irish Sea with views of Mourne Mountains to the north and Lambay to the south-east. Ardgillan is a sanctuary for many species of animals, mammals and birds for which the wooded areas provide a safe retreat from surrounding agricultural land.
Originally named ‘Prospect House’ the central section was built by Robert Taylor in 1738, with the west and east wings added in the late 1800s. Ardgillan Castle also houses a permanent exhibition of 17th century ‘Down Survey’ maps of Ireland which Thomas Taylor, Robert’s grandfather worked on as the chief examiner.
As well as the castle, the demesne features a walled and rose garden both of which present an orderly profusion of colour. The Walled Garden was originally a Victorian-styled kitchen garden that used to supply the fruit, vegetables and cut flower requirements to the house. One of the most interesting features of the gardens is the Irish Garden which houses the impressive Alcove Wall. This freestanding wall with twenty alcoves is believed to have been originally built for growing the more tender fruit such as peaches, nectarines, pears etc. It is thought to have been commissioned as a Famine relief project by the Taylor Family so that extra work could be given to the locals in the area.
Today the demesne is a stunning visitor attraction with a range of facilities the public can avail of, including castle tours, garden tours, theatre events, afternoon tea, children’s parties plus much more!
Who isn’t keen to make sure they experience the best things to do in Dublin?
Everyone has their own bucket list – from pouring the perfect pint, to touring Temple Bar and visiting the historic Trinity College.
If you have one, two or three days allocated to tourism in Dublin, and know you plan to take the Hop-on/Hop-off bus, to visit the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery, the DublinPass is your best buy.
It includes admission to the Hop-on/Hop-off bus, Guinness, Jameson and a number of other attractions; it all depends how many places you want to visit in one-to-three days. And this is will give you extra time to visit Ardgillan Castle and Victorian Gardens.
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