The Water Gardens at Glendalough House were created by the Barton family (ref History) between 1845 and 1914 to make the best use of waterways passing between a small reservoir that feeds a now decommissioned mill (also one of the first hydro-electric plants in Ireland) and the Main Pond in the Front Lawn. The Gardens, comprising ponds, waterfalls, walkways and waterways, make up 5.5 acres of the overall 12 acre garden at Glendalough House and are considered a haven of peace and tranquility, providing a relaxing break from activities elsewhere on site.
During the summer months, the Gardens are at their most spectacular, particularly the rhododendrons and azaleas, when they are in full bloom. The red, white and orange rhododendrons overlooking the top pond (with bridge) were imported from China in 1947.
The Gardens are maintained keeping nature to the fore, meaning that time is taken not to over manicure the paths and walkways, so as to allow the natural environment to flourish. With this in mind, dotted in and around the ponds and lining banks lie many lilies and rare shrubs respectively, including a particular breed of lily, which was a gift from the British Royal Family, and mouse tail iris, brought back from New Zealand in the 1940s - we don not know of any other species of its kind in Ireland!
There are a number of species of tree at Glendalough House, a majority of those of particular interest stand in the Water Garden. Once inside, to the north and opposite the statue of "The Lady", stands an "Abies Grandis" or giant fir, a native to Western North America. At approximately 48m, it is the tallest of its kind in Ireland. Similarly, along the Back Avenue to the north of the Water Garden stands a "Sequoia Sempervirens" or Californian redwood. This fine specimen is one of the 10 to 15 largest in Ireland (further to the north of the estate property in Crook's Wood, stand a collection of redwoods, under which the scenes for the movies, Excalibur and Ella Enchanted were filmed - well worth a visit!). Back in the Water Garden, a final tree of interest is a 200 year old dwarfed spruce, it's kinda small!
The Water Garden's astounding beauty evoke the interest of photographers, including Fran Byrne, who runs Glendalough House Photowalks, a series of walked-up photographic opportunities throughout the year to allow photographers to capture not only the Water Gardens, but many sites of beauty about the estate grounds during different seasons and changes thereto. Please contact us via the Glendalough House Contact details found on this page for further information .