The Formal Gardens
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. In front of 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 Arboretum & Woodland Walks
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.
Outstanding Trees on the Curraghmore Estate
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 back 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), Lebanese Cedar and of course the estate’s and Ireland’s tallest tree, an enormous Sitka Spruce.