Celebrating the Irish Country House Garden
Posted by IGS
From 23rd September to late November, the IGS is hosting Stepping Through the Gate: Inside Ireland's Walled Gardens. Click here to learn more.
Ballynure, County Wicklow
Lesley Fennell (Stepping through the Gate, Inside Ireland's Walled Gardens)
Thanks to its temperate climate and wide variety of trees and plants, Wicklow has long been known as the Garden of Ireland. Some of the best-known and most-visited gardens in the country can be found here: Powerscourt, Killruddery, Mount Usher and Kilmacurragh. There are also many private properties which possess outstanding gardens and demesnes, one of them being Ballynure. The site was originally part of an outlying farm for the Cistercian abbey at Baltinglass, their presence always an indication of rich farmland. In the post-Reformation era, Ballynure was granted by James I to the forebears of the present owner. A Jacobean house was erected, evidence of which can be found in the cellars. The present building dates from c.1800 and has a five-bay façade flanked by gabled, single-bay projections (with their equivalent to the rear). These projections have tripartite windows and, like the rest of the building, overhanging bracketed eaves which here create pediments for the gables. Aside from some minor alterations, little has changed since. Ballynure is approached along a drive of one and three-quarter miles through parkland notable for its fine trees, including beeches, oaks and limes. Over the past quarter century, many improvements have been made to the gardens, which had been developed over the previous 200 years, not least by the present owner’s grandmother, a woman of great energy and a keen gardener.
The Irish Georgian Society is most grateful to Susan Burke and her late husband Coley who were the inspiration for and provided generous funding for these exhibitions. We also wish to thank the Apollo Foundation, Northern Trust Corporation, Beth Dater, Sheila O’Malley Fuchs, Hindman Auctions, Kay and the late Fred Krehbiel, Jay & Silvia Krehbiel, Frank Saul, John & Nonie Sullivan, Robert & Gloria Turner, and The Heritage Council.