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South of Dublin lies Killruddery House which is surrounded by sprawling gardens dating back from the 17th century. Visitors to the estate can walk around the gardens in the open season or take a guided tour around the house. It’s been used as a location for films such as My Left Foot, Far and Away, Lassie and Becoming Jane.
Home to the Earls of Meath, the Brabazon family, since 1618, the house was remodelled by Richard and William Morrison in the early 1820s. The approach to the house leads through a French style wrought iron gate dating back to the 18th century.
In the entrance hall is the stone Coat-of-Arms of Sir Edward Brabazon, Knight, dated 1586. Sir Edward was a Privy Councillor to Queen Elizabeth I and MP for Wicklow. In 1616 he was created Baron of Ardee. The stone Coat-of-Arms was found in 1892 when foundations were being excavated in Cork Street near Thomas Court in Dublin where he lived.
The stairs wind upwards to a small domed lobby. The wrought iron work is by Smith & Pearson of Dublin and the mahogany stair rails were made and put in place by Thomas Donegan. The hanging gilt lantern came from Adare Manor, home of the wife of the 13th Earl. The Pendulum Clock was made by the 13th Earl. The face is part of a dumb waiter, the pendulum is a copper bed warmer and the weight on the bicycle chain is the lid of a cooking pot.
To the east of the hall lies the Library which is incorporated in the oldest part of the House. The central part of the ceiling is a copy of a Charles II design and the chimney piece and overmantel combine bold Gibbonesque carving of the period with later elements. The bookcases are Chippendale.
The neo-classical style of the Great Drawing Room was probably suggested by the chimney piece which was ordered in Italy from Giacinto Micali in 1817. The very fine architectural decoration in the ceiling was completed 1824, the date 24th April of that year and the name of Simon Gilligan inscribed on top of the cornice, was first noticed by Elizabeth, Countess of Meath, in 1968 when she undertook the mammoth task of painting the ceiling virtually single-handed.
The Gardens at Killruddery are the oldest in Ireland still surviving in their original 17th century style, together with 18th and 19th century additions. The Angles are the middle section of the garden of entertainment. They consist of a series of walks flanked by the hornbeam, lime or beech hedges which meet at two centre points. The design of the Angles as seen from the Long Ponds is known as patte d'oie. Beyond the Angles is an avenue of Ilex trees dating from the 17th century and steps leading to what was known as the bowling green. This has now been planted with birch and poplar trees.
The Long Ponds are twin canals 187 metres long and known as miroirs d'eaux. Apart from the magnificent view they offer, they were also used to stock fish for the house.
Opposite the Angles on the far side of the Long Ponds is a wooded area known as the Wilderness. A gate leads out to the Park and nearby is a statue of Venus. From here one can look back through the centre of the Beech Hedge Pond and beyond.
The original design of the Beech Hedge Pond is still in evidence. There are two circles of beech hedges creating a shaded path between them. The circular granite edged pond is 20m in diameter. There are four Victorian cast iron statues at the entrances depicting the four seasons of the year.
Beyond the Beech Hedge Pond are the gardens laid out in the 18th century style. A low yew hedge encloses a rose and lavender garden with a fountain in the centre. Beside this garden is the Ornamental Octagonal Dairy which was designed by Sir George Hodson who lived close by at Hollybrook.
April - weekends only 1-5pm
1st May-30th September - Daily 1-5pm
1st May-30th June - Daily 1-5pm
1st-30th September - Daily 1-5pm
House (Guided Tours) & walk in gardens
Child (5-12 years) €3
Family (2 adults + 2 children) €18
Group = 20+ persons €8
Child (5-12 years) €2
Group = 20+ persons €5
Killruddery House and Gardens are situated 20kms south of Dublin, just beyond Bray in Co. Wicklow. From the airport (Southbound) take the M1, M50 and N11.
From the N11 take Bray/Greystones exit and follow signs for Greystones through two roundabouts. Drive 2kms and the entrance to Killruddery is at finger post signs.
From Bray Town take the Bray/Greystones road and follow signs from second roundabout at Bray Golf course and Ramada Woodland Court Hotel.