The Kilruddery House was our favorite estate that we saw. It’s formal gardens were immense and still nicely maintained. Part of the majesty might be tied to the juxtaposition of its location near Bray, a sea-side resort that had the feel of Coney Island. I doubt that was what they were going for, but it certainly didn’t have the same charm that we had experienced throughout the rest of County Wicklow.
The house in its current incarnation is about a third less than its largest due to massive amounts of wood rot found. Like an amputation the only way to save the host was by cutting off the limb. This is the back of the house, which is the part that visitors enter from. The real entrance is on the other side.
As you may have guessed, the house is still lived in. Evidence was in the form of a child’s bicycle.
This is a pool within the circular hedge, some 20 feet tall. There are only 3 entrances in, and looking through the passage you can see rows of hedges behind that hint at the regularity of the formal gardens. Apparently in the hey-day of the estate, there were over 50 full-time gardeners on staff.
The gardeners weren’t the only ones hard at work.
Adjacent to the formal gardens was a rock garden that apparently had 5 gardeners to tend to it. This is a view from the side looking at what I think is the Little Sugar Loaf in the distance.
From the top of the rock garden you get a nice view of the rest of the house along with the rolling hills beyond.
There was also wooded lanes that swept around the perimeter with more hidden treasures.
Pretty much everywhere you went, the grounds were nicely maintained with something else to admire.
Inside the house were other nice artifacts. Apparently one of the previous Earls enjoyed making clocks, and an interesting one made with a bicycle chain hangs inside (and still works). Unfortunately pictures aren’t allowed inside.