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Return to Kilronan’s Walled Garden.

Ash trees in evening sunlight.Yesterday saw Colette and I up at Kilronan Castle again yesterday. We had our usual tea and scones in the drawing room while enjoying the views of the sweeping lawns and Lough Meelagh beyond. Afterwards we went for another peruse around the old walled garden. The garden which covers about 2 acres has been derelict for many a year. Despite that I find it has some sort of magic.

Red brick wall with training wires still attached.

The garden was built about 200 years ago and when I go in there it’s like my mind is transported back to that time. In my mind’s eye I visualise how the people who toiled there dressed, what they grew and how their lives were lived. Were the Tennison’s good people to work for? Did they treat people with respect? All these questions remain unanswered.

Part of old heating system still survives.

The garden was very well designed. The high walls are made from limestone apart from the south facing one which is red brick. This was because red brick is known to retain heat. We came upon some low walls about 10ft out from the red brick wall, we surmised that this was the front wall of a magnificient greenhouse which covered most of this red brick wall. That must have looked amazing.

Remains of red brick cold frame flanked by self-seeded Ash.

It is in the inner walled garden at the south end of the main garden that the presence of bygone gardeners is felt. The old brick built cold frames still remain, without the glass windows which would have topped them. One wonders what delicacies were brought on here? Did the grower ever get to taste the exotic crop? Pineapples perhaps?

Ivy now cloakes the old stone walls.

Further on in this inner garden there is what looks like another smaller glasshouse. Also a couple of small buildings with fireplaces. Were these the Head Gardener’s living quarters or were the fires used to heat the pipes to bring early crops? More unanswered questions. It is like to trying to assemble a huge jigsaw. I wish there were some old pictures of the garden in it’s heyday. Maybe they will surface sometime. None of the local history books that have been published make any reference to this garden. Something that Colette and I intend to change when our ongoing project is published at the end of the year. Watch this space!

3 comments to Return to Kilronan’s Walled Garden.

  • Hi Bridget, thanks for visiting my blog! This walled garden looks like it must have fabulous- some job! The size of that ivy!! Hope you are enjoying some sunny weather in Roscommon, & have a lovely Paddy’s day tomorrow.

  • Lesley

    Hi, thanks for blogging about this!

    You sound like you’re very familiar with the place – any idea if they have plans to restore the walled garden, or when? Are there other gardens in the estate, woodland with wildflowers, or just parkland and the lake? My fiance and I are considering it as a wedding venue for next spring/summer and I’m really interested to know what sort of flowers might be seen growing in the estate and what nice spots there are for photo opportunities.

    Thanks!

  • As far as I know there are no plans to restore the walled garden, a real pity in my view. At the moment there is lots of building rubble stored there. It is mainly parkland and the lake with just a small amount of flowers round the front of the castle. The castle itself is great and has been beautifully restored. Good luck with your plans.

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