Cappoquin House is an 18th century Georgian mansion built on the site of an old Fitzgerald castle. It dominates the River Blackwater at the point where the river turns south and ploughs its way through the hills to the sea. The five-acre south-facing garden, a combination of formal and informal planting, offers fine views over the Blackwater Valley.
The Keane family have lived at Cappoquin for the last 300 years. At that time George Keane leased the town of Cappoquin with extensive farm and mountain land from the Earl of Cork under three 999 year leases.
Designed by Roberts, architect of several buildings in Waterford, Cappoquin House was built by George Keane’s grandson. It is little changed today even though it was burnt to the ground in 1922. Senator Sir John Keane decided to fully restore the house; the walls were too solid to be damaged by fire but the Adams period plasterwork was carefully reproduced using old moulds available from London.
The garden was laid out in the middle of the 19th century but there are vestiges of earlier periods in walls, gateways and streams. It was taken in hand by Lady Olivia Keane in the 1950s and expanded by her in the late 1970s. It reflects much of her taste and extensive knowledge of plants.
The garden is on a south facing five-acre plot surrounding the house and looking over the valley. The soil is acid, free draining and overlying old red sandstone. The climate is Atlantic where it is cool in summer but relatively warm in winter. Planting types are much the same as in south west England (Devon or Cornwall).
The garden combines formal and informal planting within a context of mature trees, some of which are over 150 years old. Its main features are: a formal sunken garden with summer flowering perennials; a bleaching ground planted with broad leaf rhododendrons and other garden trees and shrubs; a pleasure ground with free standing mature trees; a pear and apple walk; a recently planted woodland walk.
Interesting plants and trees include old arboretum rhododendrons, myrtles so beloved of Irish gardens, schima, parotia together with magnolias, camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons, roses etc.
A particular and unusual feature of the garden are the fine views of the surrounding countryside which opens up as you go up the hill.
From Dungarvan: Coming into town turn off the main road up into the Market Square. Turn right, gates 100 yards on the left.
From Lismore: Straight through the town past the Market Square, gates 100 yards on the left.
Car parking in yard. Buses should contact first. Toilets. Due to the terrain we are not wheelchair friendly.
Directions will appear here