Powerscourt House and Gardens is located in Enniskerry, County Wicklow in the most picturesque natural surrounds. It is reported that Powerscourt House was built upon the remnants of a two storey strategic 13th century castle originally built by the la Poer family, a Norman family. The estate is so very intertwined with Irish history and the history of the local area.
Richard Wingfield, Viscount Powerscourt, and then owner of the estate commissioned Richard Cassels, to design a grand house in Palladial style which would be the envy of all 18th century stately homes. Cassels also designed and remodeled many famous buildings such as the Rotunda Hospital, (reportedly the oldest continuously operating maternity hospital in the world), Russborough House and Carton House, among many other buildings of significance in that period.
The construction would take place from commission in 1730 to completion in 1741 and the completed building embraced and celebrated the surrounding landscapes.
The Italian Garden and terraces emphasise the natural landscape and link the house to the Triton Lake. This garden was designed by Architect Daniel Robertson in the 1840′s.
The Japanese Gardens are over 100 years old and were laid by the 8th Viscount and Viscountess. Today the gardens generally are arguably the most attractive feature of this beautiful estate.
The house itself was featured in lonely planets 2012 Top ten greatest mansions and grand houses
The gardens hold their own accolade being at number three in National Geographic’s top ten gardens
The Gardens are planted and designed to change from season to season, and as such can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
In 1974 the newly renovated Powerscourt House, almost ready to showcase to the public was unfortunately destroyed by a devastating fire which gutted the main core of the building. Some sources estimate that 90 percent of the contents of the newly renovated house were destroyed and those involved in the painstaking restoration were devastated.
Again renovated and opened to the public since 1996, today the fine ballroom, garden rooms and terraces and the house itself survive, the ballroom and garden rooms are utilised as a spectacular wedding venue and also for other events, and the core of the house has been transformed into a craft and artisan centre. The house also displays Tara’s palace, a handcrafted doll’s palace for kids and adults alike.
This is a favorite location for locals and Dubliner’s to visit, even though it is a very popular place with locals and tourists alike, it is one of our favourite day’scapes because the gardens are so tranquil and beautiful.
The estate was constantly under development from the 18th century onwards. The Wingfield family invested so much time and effort into the house and gardens, constantly restoring, developing and maintaining the property through generations, some would begin a project and perhaps not see the outcome in their lifetime, which shows the dedication and love they had for this estate.
In 1961 the 9th Viscount of Powerscourt sold the estate to the Slazenger family and in a beautiful turn of events the Wingfield’s married into the Slazenger family, so that to this day the Wingfield family continue to have a connection with the estate.
For more information on Powerscourt please visit the site at http://powerscourt.com/
all photos courtesy of Failte Ireland.