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Historic Buildings



Killruddery House & Gardens, Wicklow

CONTACT:   William Kinsella ADDRESS:  Killruddery House & Gardens, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
PHONE:  + 353 (0)1 286 3405 FAX:  + 353 (0)1 286 3405
EMAIL:   info@killruddery.com  WEB:  www.killruddery.com

 
Killruddery House & Gardens

Home to the Brabazon Family (the Earls of Meath) since 1618 Killruddery House is the most successful Elizabethan-Revival mansion in Ireland and also one of the earliest.

The approach to the house leads through a French Style 18th Century wrought iron gate into a granite forecourt. In the entance hall will be seen 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.

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 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 next room was known as the ladies small Drawing Room but with the reduction of the size of the house in the 1950s this became the Dining Room. It's magnificent vaulted plaster ceiling was executed by Henry Popje, a local craftsman, likewise the Drawing Room and Hall ceilings.

The Gardens at Killruddery are the oldest in Ireland still surviving in their original 17th century unique style together with 18th and 19th century additions. The Gardens were designed for the entertainment of a large number of people and therefore the scale is comparable to that of a park. The Gardens should be regarded as mainly the work of the 4th and 6th Earls. 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 area is under restoration.

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. The gardens of Chateau de Courances, 50km south of Paris, have a similar design of twin canals on approach to 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 20 metres in diameter. There are four Victorian cast iron statues at the entrances depicting the four seasons of the year.

The Orangery

The Orangery houses an interesting collection of marble statues gathered in Italy in the 1830 - 1850 period. Classical figures include Ganymede giving water to Zeus disguised as an eagle; Cyparissus with his dying deer; Cupid with Pysche and Venus. Other prominent busts include Homer, Socrates, Napoleon, William Pitt and Wellington.

This building was restored in the year 2000 with financial help from the European Regional Development Fund administerd by Bord Fáilte

 

BS
Filmography
 Film Name  Director  Year
-  The Tudors S03  Ciaran Donnelly  2009
-  The Tudors S02  Ciaran Donnelly  2008
-  Tudors, The  Brian Kirk  2007
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