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Powerscourt - Wicklow - House

Powerscourt House

Powerscourt Waterfall and its surrounding valley are also owned by the Powerscourt estate, although the two pieces of land are no longer directly connected. At 109 metres, it is the highest waterfall in Ireland. In 1858, 7th Viscount Powerscourt established a deer park around the waterfall, resulting in the successful introduction of the Japanese Sikka to Ireland.

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Photo Details

  • County: Wicklow
  • Town: Powerscourt
  • Scene: Powerscourt House
  • Date:1910 (estimate)

Specification

  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper, larger sizes available
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
  • Colour images can be printed in black& white if preferred.
  • Read about Powerscourt below

Powerscourt

Powerscourt house is part of an estate in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland which is noted for its vast and landscaped gardens. This large country house, originally a 13th century castle, was completely rebuilt by Cassels - starting in 1730 and finishing in 1741. The demesne was approximately 850 acres (3.4 km²).

The three-story house had at least 68 rooms. The entrance hall was 60 feet (18 m) long and 40 feet (12 m) wide where family heirlooms were displayed. The main reception rooms were on the first floor rather than more typically on the ground floor.

King George IV was the guest of Richard Wingfield, 5th Viscount Powerscourt in August 1821. Mervyn Wingfield, 7th Viscount Powerscourt inherited the title and the Powerscourt estate, which comprised 49,000 acres (200 km²) of land in Ireland, at the age of 8 in 1844. When he reached the age of 21 he embarked on an extensive renovation of the house and created new gardens.

Inspiration for the garden design followed visits by Powersourt to ornamental gardens at the Palace of Versailles, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna and Schwetzingen Palace near Heidelberg. The garden development took 20 years to complete in 1880.

Main attractions on the grounds include the Tower valley (with stone tower), Japanese gardens, winged horse statues, Triton Lake, pets cemetery, Dolphin Pond, walled gardens, Bamberg Gate and the Italian Garden. Once available to tourists, but currently inaccessible, is the Pepperpot Tower said to be designed after a favored 3' pepperpot of Lady Wingfield. Of particular note is the pets cemetery whose tombstones have been described as 'astonishingly personal'.

On a commanding hilltop position Richard Cassels deviated slightly from his usual sombre style, to give the house something of what John Vanbrugh would have called the 'castle air' - a severe palladian facade terminated by two circular domed towers.

The house was destroyed by fire on 4 November 1974 when it was owned by the Slazenger family and they had it renovated in 1996. In the 1830s, the house was the venue for a number of conferences on unfulfilled Bible prophecies, which were attended by men such as John Nelson Darby and Edward Irving. These conferences were held under the auspices of Theodosia Wingfield Powerscourt, then the dowager Lady Powerscourt.

The house was used as a filming location in the 2002 film, The Count of Monte Cristo, and, more famously, in Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, which was filmed there before the 1974 fire.

Food and Drink

Currently, food services are provided by Irish company Avoca.

Powerscourt Waterfall

Powerscourt Waterfall and its surrounding valley are also owned by the Powerscourt estate, although the two pieces of land are no longer directly connected. At 109 metres, it is the highest waterfall in Ireland. In 1858, 7th Viscount Powerscourt established a deer park around the waterfall, resulting in the successful introduction of the Japanese Sikka to Ireland.

Regular bus service from Powerscourt to the waterfall was discontinued in 2005. During the high summer season, intermittent bus service is available. Most visitors travel by car, or taxi. The waterfall is 7 km from Enniskerry, and walkable. While the distance is not prohibitive, walking can be dangerous, as the road is narrow, and lacks a shoulder for long stretches.

The entry fee ranges from 3-5 euros (as of April 2007)