Duckett’s Grove, the 18th, 19th and early 20th century home of the Duckett family, was formerly at the centre of a 12,000 acre (4,856 hectares) estate that has dominated the Carlow landscape for over 300 years. In September 2005 during Heritage Week, Carlow County Council acquired Duckett’s Grove and commenced the restoration of two inter-connecting walled gardens. Even in ruin, the surviving towers and turrets of Duckett’s Grove form a romantic profile making it one of the most photogenic historic buildings in the country.
The first phase of the revival of two old walled gardens has been completed, the paths revealed and the beds and borders reinstated. The Upper Walled Garden, hedged with boxwood, is planted with historical varieties of shrub roses, a collection of Chinese and Japanese peonies, a great variety of hardy and tender perennials and choice flowering shrubs including Echium, Watsonia, Acanthus, Jovellana, Daphniphyllum, Arbutus, Euphorbia, azaleas, rhododendrons, daphne and viburnums. The Lower Walled Garden, once the site of the old orchard, contains a variety of fruits, including figs and historical varieties of Irish apples amongst others. The borders also contain a variety of shrubs and perennials all echoing the past history of the gardens and people associated with Duckett’s Grove. Restored paths and the repaired sunken stone bridge plus plantings of oak, lime, hazel, spindle and laurel rekindle the spirit of the Georgian Pleasure Grounds. Outside of the Walled Garden, the Ha Ha, Carlow fencing, veteran trees, woodlands walk and stone bridge folly vary the attraction.
Open daily during daylight hours. Teas/coffee available, check in advance for opening times with Carlow Tourism 059 – 9130411 or email email@example.com. The courtyard area features four craft studios occupied by artisan craft makers who specialise in wood turning, stained glass and candle making and are open on selected days during the week.
This project forms part of the Ireland’s Ancient East tourism trail.
Enjoy Free Guided Tours (on selected days), audio tours in five languages, new storytelling panels throughout the site and a film of Duckett’s Grove. The FREE guided tour of Duckett’s Grove retrace the centuries of history in this special place. Learn about the origins of the Duckett family who first arrived here in 1695, the subsequent expansion of the estate and building of the Gothic mansion and its eventual sad demise. Discover the stories of the family who lived here and the people who worked for them. As the principal seat of one of the most prominent families in Carlow of that time, Duckett’s Grove remains an important and powerful reminder of a former period, rich in history and deep in tradition.
November – March: Thursday & Friday 12 noon, 2 pm, 3 pm. Sunday 2 pm, 3 pm
April-October: Thursday & Friday 12.30 noon, 2.30 pm, 4 pm. Sunday 2.30 pm, 4 pm
Opening Times: Gardens and ruined mansion daylight hours. Admission: Free
Facilities: Large car and coach park, toilets, wheelchair access.
How to get there: From Dublin/Waterford take exit 4 on M9 motorway. Follow signs for Castledermot then take the R418 Castledermot – Tullow road for 6km and turn right at the signed junction. From Carlow take the R726 Hacketstown Road for 10 km to Killerig Cross Roads. Turn left at this junction onto the R418 for 2.5 km, turn left again at the signed junction.
GPS: 52.858748, –6.812787
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