[Sunday - 11/17/02] Powerscourt is one of the most beautiful estates in Ireland. Situated in the mountains of Wicklow, it was originally an important strategic site for the Anglo-Normans who came to Ireland in the late 12th century. By the year 1300, a castle had been built here and was in the possession of the le Poer (Power) family from which it takes its name. The succeeding centuries saw the castle held for different periods by powerful families such as the O'Tooles and the FitzGeralds, Earls of Kildare.
In 1603, Powerscourt Castle and lands were granted to a new English arrival in the area: Richard Wingfield. Following a successful military career in Ireland, Flanders, France and Portugal, Wingfield was knighted and in 1600 was appointed as Marshall of Ireland. His descendants were to remain at Powerscourt for over 350 years.
Powerscourt was much altered in the 18th century when the famous German-born architect, Richard Castle, remodelled the castle and grounds. The work was commissioned by Richard Wingfield (1697-1751) and involved the creation of a magnificent mansion around the shell of the earlier castle. The surrounding grounds were laid out in a series of formal rides and parkland to the north, with carefully planned gardens and terraces to the south. Further alterations in the next century resulted in the stunning garden and landscape design seen at Powerscourt today.
Powerscourt House today reflects centuries of history dating all the way back to the 1300's castle. It contains some of the finest 18th century interiors in Ireland. Powerscourt Garden is a 45 acre blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statuary and ornamental lakes together with secret hollows, rambling walks, walled gardens and over 200 variations of trees and shrubs.
Last modified on Wednesday, November 26, 2008|
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