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Belvedere House, Gardens & Park


Historic 18th century house and park with a beautifully restored 2 acre walled garden.

Tullamore Road
Co Westmeath
website Contact Belvedere House, Gardens & Park
Tel: +353 O44 934 9060

Please mention when enquiring.

Belvedere House, Gardens & Park

Opening Months: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Opening Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Opening Hours: Daily from 10/10.30 am
Admission Charge: €8.75 Adult, €4.75 children, €6.25 OAPs/Students, €24 Family; Group c. €6
  • Appointment Only
  • Admission Charge

With a Palladian villa, an idyllic location on Lough Ennel, a gem of a Victorian walled garden and Ireland’s largest folly - a monument to the dark deeds of the 1st Earl of Belvedere - this historic 160 acre estate is fascinating.
Edwardian walled garden and the earlier landscaped grounds, aided by the Great Gardens of Ireland Restoration Scheme.

The house, attributed to Richard Castle, was built in 1740 as a grandiose fishing lodge for Robert Rochfort, known as the ‘Wicked Earl’. The soubriquet seems justified, for Rochfort locked up his young second wife Mary Molesworth in the family seat of Gaulstown for years on suspicion of an affair with his brother Arthur, and built the Gothic ruin known as the Jealous Wall partly as a fashionable statement but also to hide the view of
Tudenham Park, home of another brother George.

Rochfort also added two delightful follies to this  chapter of gardening hisotry: the Gothic Arch and the octagonal Gazebo. The more benevolent Charles Brinsley Marlay, who inherited Belvedere in 1847, added the walled garden and the Italianate terracing in front of the house, and planted exotic trees in the park. He also had a habit of courting wealthy widows on the yew walk known as ‘Widow’s Walk’.

The exotic shrubs in the walled garden are a legacy of Himalayan mountaineer Charles Kenneth Howard Bury, who inherited in 1912 and created a celebrated garden there with his flamboyant companion Rex Beaumont.

The walled garden, which had gone into sad decline, as gardens will do, has now undergone a splendid reincarnation thanks to Westmeath County Council, funds from the Historic Gardens Restoration Scheme, and the hard work of garden staff over a four year restoration programme. Restoration plans were drawn up by Belinda Jupp and Terence Reeves Smith. After the garden walls had been repaired and conifers removed, the borders were replanted, old shrubs were identified and propagated.

The tour opens beside a restored greenhouse by Thomas Messenger, sheltering orchids and ferns. Beyond is a charming box edged potager with a rose arch of Kifsgate, espaliered fruit trees, soft fruits including monster blackberry ‘Lough Ness’ and the decorative crab apple Malus. ‘John Downie’ under planted with the Alpine strawberry ‘Alexandria’, and Thompson and Morgan’s ‘Milkmaid’ nasturtium and sweet pea ‘Matucana’.

True to the original design, the garden is laid out with a grid of paths with magnificent shrub and herbaceous borders around the walls and a double herbaceous border along the central axis of the 2 acre garden, with golds predominating. In honour of Howard Bury there is a Himalayan theme with Malus ‘Everest’, hemerocallis, rhododendrons and meconopsis. There is a hot border, with monarda dahlias and cannas, Heliantus salicifolius and helenium and a wet border where ligularias and astilbes flourish.

There is a delightful Rosarie full of old fashioned favourites like R ‘Louise Odier’ and Irish cultivars ‘Souvenir de St Anne’s’ and ‘Bloomfield Abundance’, and a knot garden filled with different shades of hard geraniums from magenta ‘Ann Folkard’ to mauve G. clarkei. It is truly a garden for all season starting in early spring with displays of crocus, hellebores and snowdrops.

And the garden has given its name to two cultiavars, Rosa Belvedere and Fuchsia Belvedere, to be found in the plant sales section.

Best time of year to visit: May, June

Gardens Strengths

Walled garden

Groups & Tours

  • Groups Accepted
  • Groups Need Appointments
  • Accept Only Groups
  • Guided Tours

Tour Days:


Belvedere House - Mullingar County Westmeath Ireland
Belvedere House - Mullingar County Westmeath Ireland
Belvedere House - Mullingar County Westmeath Ireland
Belvedere House - Mullingar County Westmeath Ireland
Belvedere House - Mullingar County Westmeath Ireland
Belvedere House - Mullingar County Westmeath Ireland
Belvedere House - Mullingar County Westmeath Ireland
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Just outside Mullingar on the Tullamore Road, well signed

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