– as a result of careful research & good detective work


In the Killarney House Gardens, on the edge of the town, the great expanse of formal lawns, the Cherry Tree Walk, the Long Terrace Walk and the mixed border draw the line-of-sight to Lough Leane and the McGillicuddy Reeks. 


The dominant features of the main entrance area are the trees – established and newly planted, the refurbished building – that was the stable block in the 18th century French chateau style house here – with its new sunken, paved forecourt, and new very modern building.  In Spring tens of thousands of newly planted daffodils will bloom here. 


The 300 metre Cherry Drive has been entirely newly planted.  In May the impact of the flowering cherries leading to the original front door will be apparent. 


The 270 metre ( six metre wide) Mixed Border, with 7,500 plants, and a backing of yew, is the longest herbaceous border in Ireland. 


Imagine Queen Victoria and her ladies-in-waiting being guided along the Long Terrace Walk by Lord and Lady Castlerosse when they stayed here on Monday, August 26, 1861, on their formal state visit.  The wide, paved terrace allowed the ladies to view the estate while preserving their finery and wide skirts.

Careful research and good detective work were used to re-create the overall garden design – including paths, flowers beds, trees, hedges and wilderness area – as they were for the Queen’s visit.


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The circular bed in the centre of the lawns is at present full of a varied selection of flowers in rich magnificant bloom.


Thousands of newly planted fifteen foot high trees cover much of the area west and south of the formal gardens. These include Spanish chestnut, oak, beech and alder planted in straight lines in the style of an 18th century Wilderness Area. 


The southern edge of the formal lawns is fringed by a line of lime trees, replicating the limes that line nearby Ross Road.

The southern side of the gardens has a series of tree-hedge surrounded grassed areas including a Patte d’Oie or goose foot shaped area formed by paths and hedging. 

The cherub classical garden sculpture was part of the formal garden 200 years ago. Other original sculpture pieces will be re-introduced in the coming months. Around the cherub there is a lot of tree planting and a short herbaceous border.


Killarney House Gardens are open everyday from 9am to 6pm.  The house will open in 2017.  It will have interpretative exhibitions on the flora and fauna of Kerry and the broader Kerry area as well as displays on the people who lived here.  It will also have temporary exhibition areas and space for cultural events.

– Frank Lewis

On September 24 hear something of the legend, nature, history and folklore in our walk around Killarney House Gardens on Saturday Supplement on Radio Kerry from 9am to 11am – 97fm or radiokerry.ie – live or on podcast.

Killarney House Gardens are within a ten-minute drive of Gallan Eile, our self-catering rental accommodation – for more information or to book a stay Gallan Eile …

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