The largest garden in Ireland; the grounds at Birr Castle contain both formal and informal gardens, wildflower meadows, an exotic tree collection, a fernery, a lake and the worlds tallest box hedges.
The formal gardens hedges, seen at the top of the photo, have been formed to suggest the windows of a monastery.
The formal gardens were created in 1935 to celebrate the marriage of the current Earl’s mother whom also established the design of the garden. At the center of the formal gardens are two Bavarian urns. One urn is shown in the above photo. The urns are over 300 years old. Surrounded by hedges containing openings like gothic style windows, these formal gardens take their inspiration from the layout of a monastic cloister.
Photo above – the Millennium garden
The gardens of Birr Castle are actually referred to as Birr Castle Demesne. The Demesne name is historic and refers to all lands of the estate, including the buildings. With in the Demesne of Birr Castle you will find a lake, streams, a number of gardens, meadows, and woodlands comprised of plants collected from all over the world. The Birr Castle Demesne is renowned not only for its large variety of plants but also for its extensive tree collection.
For almost 400 years the Parsons family have worked on and contributed their own unique features to the Demesne. The gardens contain some of the oldest and ,the tallest, boxwood hedges in the world, and over a 1000 variety of trees and shrubs. Among the gardens is a Fernery that dates back to the 1840’s.
Between visiting the science center and the gardens plan for a fair amount of walking.
Click on a photo above to view it in a large size, photos will open in a new window.
During the 1970’s it became financially difficult for the family to maintain the gardens to their previous level. Today, many of the gardens at Birr Castle are under restoration.
Go to the Birr Castle top page
Ireland’s Historic Science Center is located right on the grounds of Birr Castle