Burtown House gardens are made up of several areas including large herbaceous borders, shrubberies, a rock garden, a yew walk with dividing pergola, an old orchard, a more formal stable yard garden and a large woodland surrounded on all sides by water. This area hosts a collection of candleabra primulas, hostas, ferns and iris, amongst other plants. There are many old roses, peonies, clematis and a walled organic vegetable garden that has been in continuous production for 150 years. Once the centre of a 2,000-acre estate and built for the Quaker Robert Power about 1710, Burtown is close to the village of Ballytore, one of Ireland’s most prominent Quaker strongholds.
Isabel Shackleton (married to the present owner’s great grandfather and first cousin to the explorer Ernest Shackleton) is responsible for some of the original layout, but over the last 20 years it has been greatly enlarged and reclaimed by the present owner, artist Lesley Fennell. Visitors can take a break from their garden visit to enjoy homemade biscuits, cakes or scones with homemade lemonade and apple juice from the orchard. Lunches are served every day that it is open, using fresh seasonal produce from the organic kitchen garden, which can be eaten in the gallery space, the picturesque yard or at one of the tables discreetly placed about the garden.