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Six on Saturday – Lismore Castle Gardens

It has passed through several noble hands. Walter (of the Raleigh), Richard (of chemistry laws fame) and Fred the Dancer’s brother-in-law all had the deeds and seeds.

17th October 2020.

There’s been some Autumnal giddiness this week along with serious work in the garden and homework in my head. I am in the process of moving my website from WordPress to Hosting Ireland, but I asked the team leader to allow me time to get my Six-on-Saturday up and out. No problem, she said. Amid all this ticking of boxes and following my nose, I had some John Cleese moments in the aftermath of my visit to Lismore Castle Gardens last Sunday. More of that later níos déanaí. My six (plus one) this week comes from the lovely garden in Lismore, twenty kilometres away.

1. Aon

The original castle was started in 1170 and I’m pretty sure they grew a few beans and bushes, along with thorns and truffles from time to time, but the first real attempt to add a garden befitting the castle caisleán commenced in the 1605. My meander through the present gardens, upper and lower, was the highlight of my year. That’s really saying something! I lost myself moving from one section to another through narrow maze-like alleys, eyes ahead in anticipation, moving from one century to the next.

2. Dó

I came upon this erect grass everywhere and I really do want it. Can anyone help me out?

3. Trí

This is the Avenue of Trees na gCrann. one of several throughout, most likely added by some new owner. Speaking of owners, it has passed through several noble hands. Walter (of the Raleigh), Richard (of chemistry laws fame) and Fred the Dancer’s brother-in-law all had the deeds and seeds. Since the 1600’s this has been just one the very many large estates owned by the Duke of Devonshire. The current Duke is Peregrine Cavendish, but I was unable to meet him because of my other Sunday commitments.

4. Ceathar

As I neared the castle walls I sat to enjoy a Hamlet moment, I was joined momentarily by a hedgehog. It crept slowly out of view as I admired the bigger picture.

5. Cúig

Very impressed I was by the many secluded nooks. This one would be ideal for a picnic or romantic moments. I had neither of these but I did sit to take stock of life.

6. Sé

Voila! Here’s the back entrance, the coffee-and-apple-pie café and the newly-established art exhibition gallery. The café was very tempting but the gallery was closed. I saw someone looking down on me from a window, so I assumed an interested gaze at a tree down to my right and pointed the camera away. Later, my thoughts turned to Rapunzel.

One for the road…

The back lawn is spirit-level level, but as I photographed part of the castle from the approaching bank, I needed to shift my weight to my right foot cos. Accordingly, the building is leaning. The builders of banks and castles could not have known at the time that this would cause first-world issues. An image of the Rapunzel in Pisa lingered with me.

That’s my short account of my first visit to these majestic gardens. I enjoyed it so much that I will save up for a season ticket. The gardens will open again in March next year, all being well with the world, so I will have some time to save slowly.

Further Study & Giddinesss

I did mention giddiness at the outset. In fact, it persisted until Wednesday, by which time I had produced a few fun items… photo edits, a tongue-in-cheek article and seven tweets. I’m told I’d do Twitter a great service by not bothering.

Just shocking! Read about it HERE.

Wouldn’t you just love to visit many other majestic gardens or castles from around the World? England, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are well represented on the Six-on-Saturday thingymebob created by The Propagator.

SOS World Tour

Read all about it and follow this week’s gardeners’ gardens. You may join in free gratis, saor in aisce. Ireland has several keen enthusiasts, and my County Waterford is headed up by An Irish Gardener and myself. That’s it for this week. Stay safe, enjoy your garden and garden reading, keep your distance and wash your hands. I’ll be back next week so until then, slán go fóill.


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Author: Páraig

Changing my mind, one thought at a time. When head is good so is everything, including some fast biking and slow gardening.

35 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – Lismore Castle Gardens”

  1. Impressive views ! Don’t you think that the photo of the leaning castle is more related to a photography problem with the notion of parallax? I always have the same problem when I photograph monuments in wide angle.


    1. Mr. Fred Astaire. His sister married into the Cavendish family. She was a regular on the social scene in Lismore, and many local establishments pride themselves on her visits.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, tell your friend that she’s long gone. By all accounts a very flamboyant character. (not your friend)
      I use several little apps on my phone. That one was created with… let me check… PipCamera (Android). Deadly little thing. I also use FotoFunia.


  2. What an amazing place, and you have some amazing photos! I love how the gardens aren’t just what I picture when I think of “castle gardens,” that of just formal gardens, but meandering paths and a bit of natural “mess.” What an avenue! I wonder how old those trees are?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tis a proper garden, Lisa! I read somewhere those trees were added in the 1600’s. I must find out more. I’m definitely signing up for a season ticket. Exciting, as soon as this horrible yoke passes away.


  3. So lovely this was your year’s highlight and I can see why. What a place – lots to explore. I grew up near Chatsworth – another small property owned by the Duke of Devonshire and always enjoyed visiting as a child. You’ve reminded me to get out and about as long as Covid-19 restrictions allow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We still need to be extremely careful, of course. I wonder is Chatsworth open to the public?
      As an aside, the river flowing through my hometown Dungarvan is spanned by the Devonshire Bridge, and until the 80’s we has the Devonshire Hotel. History everywhere.


  4. There is a specimen Magnolia campbellii at one end of the garden – opposite to pieces of the Berlin Wall – and it alone merits a visit when it is in flower so you must go again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks Catherine. I hope I never lose it.
      Yes Lismore is a magical place. Would you believe there was a University-type seat of learning there back in the 6th century!


  5. The hedgehog… romantic frolics… castles and dames with long hair… and you’re even helping my Irish linguistic skills! I think I’m now (almost) counting in Irish and going to dream of visiting the caisleán in the valley for inspiration… in my mind, that is… seeing as we have to stay away from friends and family and wash our hands too often! 😁😁😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m curious, are you able to see my blog? I’m getting domain not found message… I’m in process of transferring, so I’m surprised if you or anyone can see it.
      Washing my hands!

      Liked by 1 person

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