King John’s Bridge built in 1205, which spans the River Clodiagh was reputed to have been built for King John’s visit to Ireland. However King John changed his mind at the last minute and did not visit Curraghmore. A feature of the bridge is the recesses in the stone walls allowing workers and others crossing the bridge to step aside smartly and not impede his Lordship’s progress. This fine structure the oldest bridge in Ireland and still in daily use.
Sitka Spruce – One of the tallest Trees in Ireland
One of only 2 remaining of the original Sitka Spruce from David Douglas’ 1830s introduction to Ireland, now standing at 180 feet/ 55 m high, this is one of the tallest trees in Ireland. Brought out from California as a seedling it has survived many ferocious storms because it was planted in a hollow on the bank of the Clodiagh River and is surrounded by sturdy young trees. The following quotation from Irish Times of March 6th 2000 by the late Brendan McWilliams is of interest to visitors: “For many years a Sitka Spruce over 160ft tall, believed to be planted around 1835 and growing in the Curraghmore Estate in Co Waterford, was believed to be Ireland’s tallest tree. Then in 1991, it was surpassed by a Douglas fir in the Powerscourt Estate in Wicklow at 165ft, but a few years later the Waterford Sitka regained ascendancy in excess of 172ft.”
The Japanese Gardens originally laid out by Caroline, Lady Waterford are currently undergoing maintenance and are expected to be restored to their former glory in the Spring/Summer 2016.