Curraghmore House one of the best places to visit in Waterford and a garden to visit in Ireland
Curraghmore House is situated in the lovely valley of the Clodagh river, which enters the estate at Lowry's Bridge and almost halves the land of Curraghmore.
For sheer grandeur and scale it would be hard to equal this great Waterford estate. Curraghmore House has a magnificent setting amid ancient oak woods and formal gardens.
The Curraghmore estate offers the visitor a delightful array of attractions and places of interest to explore.
The Shell House and Gardens are open from Easter to 15th of October on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday from 10am to 4pm also on the 1st & 3rd Sundays of each month. The Gardens are also open during The National Heritage Week annually.
Admission €5 per person. For full opening hours and rates, please visit the Contact Us page on this site.
During this time visitors are free to marvel at the Formal Gardens which surround the house, the lake with its resident swans, some of Ireland's most remarkable trees in the estate's arboretum, miles of beautiful river walks, a Japanese garden laid out by the present Lady Waterford and of course the exceptional Shell House.
To arrange a group visit to the estate and gardens, please contact the guide or the estate office at: 051 387 134 and 051 387 101.
The grounds of Curraghmore House, were laid out by the first de la Poer - Beresford Earl of Tyrone around 1750 and provide a splendid example of an eighteenth-century romantic landscape, with the house as its centrepiece.
Behind the house is the garden in the French manner designed by Louisa, third Lady Waterford. Its formal terraces, with balustrades and statuary, overlook a man-made lake.
To the west a vista through the woods stretches off to infinity.
Hidden in a shrubbery is the enchanting Shell House, created by Catherine Countess of Tyrone, with 'her proper' hands in 1754.
The specimen trees surrounding the gardens date from the mid nineteenth century when many of the species grown here were first introduced to Ireland.
Spruce, Cedars, Oak, Maple and Beech have grown to a magnificent size.
The woodlands at Curraghmore abound with native Bluebells and Wild Garlic.
In Spring these form aromatic carpets of blossom under the estate's magnificent trees.
In the dappled light filtering through the trees one can often spot some of the estate's many pheasants, their colours set off brilliantly against the woodland's floor.
Miles of walks have been created through the estate's woodland and gardens.
The winding paths reveal a rich array of trees, shrubs and smaller woodland treasures: spring bulbs giving way to rhododendrons, cornus and magnolias in early summer, then in autumn, the woodland canopy appears to burn in fiery banks of red and copper hues.
To the north east of the house magnificent oaks planted to supply timber for the British fleet climb Tower Hill, which takes its name from the monument to the 12 year old son of the first Marquis of Waterford, who was killed jumping on his horse in 1785.
Thanks to its long history, the Curraghmore estate boasts a selection of wonderful old trees. Perhaps the most prominent are the gnarled pink chestnut, which form an avenue within the Courtyard at the front of the big house or perhaps the majestic old specimiens which line the 2km avenue leading from the main gate to the house's entrance front.
The woodland gardens contain more enormous sweet chestnut and oaks, as well as a magnificent beech, Chinese Fir (1 of the 5 largest specimens in Ireland), Japanese Umbrella Pine (a British Isles Champion) , a Maritime Pine (Irish Champion) and of course the estate's and Ireland's tallest tree, an enormous Sitka Spruce.
One of only 2 remaining of the original Sitka Spruce from David Douglas' 1830s introduction to Ireland, at 180 feet/ 55 m high, this is among the tallest trees in Ireland.
King John's Bridge, which spans the River Clodagh is a bridge reputed to have been built for King John's visit to Ireland in 1205.
There are many other interesting places to visit on the estate but notable among these is the little Church of Clonegam.
Clonegam is a parish and the public road from Ballyquin gate leads to the gate of the church, which stands inside on the grounds. The church was rebuilt in 1841. Considerable historic interest is attached to this spot and the inscriptions on some of the tombs are those of people who were highly respected and admired in their time.
At the top of the church is the splendid work of art raised to the memory of Sir Marcus Beresford, Earl of Tyrone, and Countess Katherine, by whose marriage the old baronies of Beresford and le Poer were united.
Another interesting monument on Curraghmore Estate is the Round Tower, which is situated on a hill and was built by the fist Marquis, George de la Poer Beresford to commemorate the death of his son in a riding accident.
The view from the tower is picturesque and the inscription on the tower reads "La Poer Tower, erected in the year 1785 by George, Earl of Tyrone, to his beloved son, his niece and friend."
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