HHI's Heritage Day for Heritage Week

Join Historic Houses of Ireland's members across Ireland as they proudly celebrate HHI's Heritage Day for Heritage Week on Saturday, 13th. 

Historic Houses of Ireland is particularly delighted that the overarching themes for Heritage Week 2022 are sustainability and biodiversity, both subjects of huge importance our members and their homes.  

We represent some 150 protected properties in private hands, ranging in size from large castles to more modest country homes. Many have been in the hands of the same families for generations and so their landscapes and woodlands have been preserved almost intact over the centuries. Others were more recently acquired by passionate new owners who have dedicated themselves to restoring both their homes and preserving the lands they stand on. 

Learn about our owners' passion for heritage and biodiversity at first hand! Events for HHI’s Heritage Day for Heritage Week will be hosted by, amongst others, Curraghmore in Co. Waterford, Corravahan in Co. Cavan, Woodbrook House in Co. Wexford, Moone Abbey in Co. Kildare, Altidore Castle in Co. Wicklow, Thornfield House in Co. Limerick, Killua Castle in Co. Westmeath and Stradbally Hall in Co. Laois. 

For further information, check out the houses' individual entries on www.heritageweek.ie or their entries on this website. 


Curraghmore House - Trees as part of our Natural Heritage 

Curraghmore House, Co. Waterford 13th August, 3.30 pm – 5.00 pm

Tree and horticulture expert Graham Fallon will lead an educational walk and talk about the natural heritage and biodiversity of the 2,500-acre Curraghmore Estate.
These lands have been in private ownership since 1167 and as result, the habitats have maintained great ecological diversity over the centuries. Some of Ireland's most remarkable trees are found within the arboretum, where the walk begins. The Estate is home to an astonishingly wide variety of flora and fauna as well as a hugely diverse range of habitats and ecosystems along the river Clodiagh.
The focus will be on trees and species that depend upon a host tree for survival, including native, naturalised and non-native examples. The walk will seek to highlight the importance of our natural heritage and its crucial role in a sustainable future. 



Corravahan House Gardens - 300 years of Transformation and Growth 

Corravahan House, Drung, Co. Cavan, August 13th, 3.00 pm – 4.00 pm

Owner Ian Elliott is offering a free guided walk through Corravahan’s garden which was first established in the 1720s before being revised in the 1840s. The walk will explore the layout changes, planting trends and on-going restoration by the present owners. Of special interest is Corravahan's spectacular Great Cedar of Lebanon which is almost 300 years old. There is also a separate tour of the house every day during Heritage Week. Rachael and Ian Elliott have been sympathetically and meticulously restoring both the house and the garden since they moved to Corravahan in Drung, Co. Cavan, in 2003.



Altidore Castle - Mature Native Woodland Walk 

Altidore Castle, Kilpedder, Co. Wicklow, 13th August 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm

Altidore will be holding two woodland walk to celebrate Heritage Week. The first on, Saturday, August 13th 4-6 pm, as part of HHI’s Heritage Day for Heritage Week, and the second, on Wednesday, August 17th 4-6 pm. The Emmet family is very excited to show off the mature and more recently planted native woodland and organic pasture surrounding their unusual Georgian castellated house. Numbers are limited and there is some uphill walking.

Built in 1730 beside a medieval castle of the O’Toole family on the eastern slopes of the Wicklow Mountains, Altidore looks out over wooded parkland to the Irish Sea. After acquiring it in 1945, the Emmet family carried out an extensive restoration and created a large new garden, centred on a pair of canals from the early 18th century garden layout. The present owners, their grandson Philip and his wife Vicky, have farmed the estate organically for over two decades. Booking advised!



Woodbrook House - Open Day at Natural Burial Ground

Woodbrook House, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, August 13th, 10.00 am – 3.00 pm 

Nestling beneath the Backstairs Mountains, Woodbrook dates back to the 1770s. In 2012, it become the home of the first natural burial ground in Ireland which is gradually developing into a native Irish woodland and wildflower meadow with just simple stone markers for each resting place. The open day will be attended by Colin McAteer, director of the burial ground, and by Harry McGrenaghan of Green Coffins Ireland who will showcase the making of an Irish willow coffin. Eventually, the natural burial ground will simply become a piece of woodland of Irish native trees.

Also present will be Giles FitzHerbert, owner of Woodbrook House, who has long been interested in promoting sustainable ideas and projects and who hosted a major eco festival, the Irish Green Gathering, at Woodbrook in 2007 and 2008. There will even be a prototype compost toilet designed by Octavian FitzHerbert on display.



Woodbrook House - Botanical Art Course 

13 August, 3pm - 7pm

Also on HHI Heritage Day for Heritage Week, talented Italian botanical artist Giulia Canevari makes a welcome return to beautiful Woodbrook House to host a botanical drawing/painting workshop on August 13th. The workshop will take place in the chapel.

Please Contact Giulia at 087 9436677 for bookings.

Workshop: 65 euro

Workshop + Accommodation (meals included): 95 euro. 



Moone Abbey - Conservation Plan for Moone Abbey Towerhouse

Moone Abbey, Moone, Co. Kildare, August 13th, 11.00 am – 1.00 pm 

The Ten Pound Tower House explored in this visit is at Moone Abbey on the Kildare/Carlow border, an estate that boasts a rare concentration of building types and styles illustrating over a thousand years of Ireland’s turbulent history. 

Representatives of the team of consultants - archaeologist, conservation architect, ecologist etc. - involved in the Conservation Plan for the Tower House will give a presentation on site describing their findings. 

The mediaeval predecessor to the present mid- 18th century Palladian house, it is of a special type encouraged under statute to help fortify the Pale. In return for building a smaller-than-typical defensive castle or tower, 20’ long, 16’ wide and at least 40’ high, landowners received a subsidy of £10 to help defray their expenses, perhaps the earliest instance of that must-loved Irish institution, the building grant!

The estate also includes the remains of Moone Abbey, originally founded in the 6th century by St. Columkille, and the beautiful High Cross of Moone, rediscovered in the ruins in the 19th century.


Killua Castle - Visit of Gardens, 13th of August

 Killua Castle, Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath. 

Killua is a historic Westmeath castle located in the most romantic demesne in Ireland with links to Sir Walter Raleigh and Lawrence of Arabia. The castle is dedicated to sharing its owners’ greatest passions: environmental conservation, regenerative farming, history, art, and gastronomy. It was built in the 18th / early 19th century and was the home of the family of Lawrence of Arabia. It lay in ruins for over 60 years before being masterfully restored and brought back to life over the last 20 years. It is surrounded by beautiful undulating landscape that is now home to rare breeds of moiled cows, Jacob sheep, old Irish Goats and parkland deer, all reared in a sustainable and regenerative manner.

The obelisk, erected near the house in 1810 by Sir Thomas Chapman, marks the spot where Sir Walter Raleigh planted some of the first potatoes that he brought to Ireland. 



Thornfield House - Walk in the Woodlands

Thornfield House, Lisnagry, Co. Limerick, August 13th 3pm

We were delighted to welcome Thornfield House in Co. Limerick to HHI recently. It is the former home of Gen. Sir Richard Bourke. A Governor of Australia and founder of the city of Melbourne, he bought Thornfield House in 1810. He later built and ran the first Ahane National School (now Educate Together) on his estate in 1823. The Constitution of the School forms part of the foundation of Australian Education. The nearby Ahane Crafts School was run by Anne Bourke.  A walk in the woodlands of Thornfield House to include the sites of the schools will be hosted by Limerick Historical Society. at 3oC on Saturday, 13 August.



A Tour of Kildrought House and Gardens

Kildrought House, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, August 13th 10.30 am 0 11.45 am 

Kildrought is a charming early Georgian house on Celbridge’s Main Street. Designed by Thomas Burgh, it was built in 1719–20 for upholsterer and tapestry weaver Robert Baillie whose works depicting the Siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne still hang in the Irish House of Lords chamber. It has served as a fever hospital, vicarage, dispensary and even an Irish Constabulary barracks (1831 to 1841). Kildrought has been sympathetically restored by its owners, the Stuart family. 



 Stradbally Hall - Tour of the House and Pleasure Gardens

Stradbally Hall, Co. Laois, August 13th: 10.00 am  - 1.00 pm (on the hour)

To celebrate HHI’s Heritage Day for Heritage Week, visits to Stradbally Hall on August 13th will include not just a tour of the house but also one of the attached pleasure gardens, home to venerable trees and, like the rest of the 500-acre estate, a great range of biodiversity and habitats. Built in the late 1700s, the Hall is surrounded by a tree-studded demesne adjoining Stradbally village, with a circle of hills as a dramatic backdrop. 


Glenville Park - Tour of the Gardens

Glenville Park, Glenville, Co. Cork, August 13th, 12 midday

Glenville Park in County Cork is also running small garden tours to celebrate Historic Houses of Ireland's Heritage Day for Heritage Week. Visitors should meet inside the white gates at 12 midday. The estate sits at the centre of a large inverted triangle with Cork City and the towns of Fermoy and Mallow at its apices. Booking is essential: adults 10 euro, children are invited free but must be accompanied by adults. For  bookings, please contact: silviabencejones@hotmail.com. To learn more about this beautiful house, simply check out its entry on this website using the House Search button. 

Grenane - Tour of the House 

Grenane House, Grenane, Tipperary, Co. Tipperary

The Mansergh family have continuously lived in Grenane House from 1700 to the present day, making it one of the oldest lived in houses by the same family in Ireland. Grenane House and gardens are listed and nestle amid 350 acres of lush land in the Golden vale. All of the plasterwork is unaltered since it was built. The front windows are by James Wyatt and there are mantelpieces by both James Adam and Bossi. Among the more modern touches is a spectacular playroom completely hand painted by Marion McDonnell depicting “The Mice of Brambley Hedge”. Grenane House enjoys spectacular views of the Galtee Mountains, including the peak of Grenane from which the house takes its name.


Castlegarde - Tour of the Castle 

Castlegarde Castle, Castlegarde, Cappamore, Co. Limerick

Castlegarde, near Pallasgreen on the borders of Limerick and Tipperary, is a fine example of a tower house that has remained in continuous occupation since mediaeval times.  In fact, this unique listed historic family home is the oldest continually inhabited castle in Ireland, situated on a 300 acre working dairy farm facing south towards the Galtee mountains. It has three cut stone figures of gods over the entrance with Brian Boru over the front door. It even has its own ghost “The Lady in Silk”. There is also a Murder Hole where she may have ended her earthly life. See the Crimon rock foundation of the tower 15 feet above ground, the bawn and the moat as well as gargoyles! 

Tours must be booked in advance through: https://www.hfhtours.ie/castlegarde-castle/

Killruddery House - 'The Ancestors' - a hauntological sound trail

Killruddery House,


Co. Wicklow 

'The Ancestors' - a hauntological sound trail by Killruddery Artist in Residence, Joseph Young  August 13th - 21st  9.30 am - 6.30 pm


Event Summary & Location

13 August 2022