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Sion Hill House & Gardens


Hillside garden with roses, daffodils and rhododendrons a special feature.

Sion Hill
Co Waterford
website Contact Sion Hill House & Gardens
Tel: +353 51 851 558

Please mention when enquiring.

Sion Hill House & Gardens

Opening Months: May, June, July, August, September
Opening Days:
Opening Hours: 2-5pm
Admission Charge:
  • Appointment Only
  • Admission Charge



This is an enthusiast’s garden with stories attached to everything from the plants George Kavanagh began collecting as a boy, to the house itself. Sion Hill (1746) is one of five houses built by the Pope family who made their fortune as wine merchants during the Napoleonic embargo. In present times, the Kavanagh family were devastated when their three acre garden in Waterford city was compulsorily purchased, and the house on the opposite hill became the focus of George’s dreams.

These were finally realised when George and Antoinette bought Sion Hill in 1995 and moved in, transplanting 2,000 plants from their previous garden. One of the first things they did was to plant 20,000 daffodils and over 400 species roses and - thanks to a map in the National Archives - rediscovered the original paths in the upper part of the garden, which lies in Kilkenny. They have been restoring and replanting ever since.

Tree ferns bought by George as a lad from Derreen for the grand sum of 2/6d are planted in tropical luxuriance around a hidden fountain pool, and new large leaved rhododendrons, cardiocrinums and tender shrubs are flourishing in the shelter of the woodland garden.

There is a walled area beside the house packed with George’s treasures including a camellia that flowers pink white and red. There are commemorative trees planted by the family of a victim of 9/11, and by Desmond Guinness and Gerry Adams among others. Among them is the smallest rhododendron in the world, with quarter inch leaves.

Best time of year to visit: May, June, July, August, September

Groups & Tours

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

Tour Days:


Sion Hill House & Gardens - Waterford Ireland
Sion Hill House & Gardens - Waterford Ireland
Sion Hill House & Gardens - Waterford Ireland
Sion Hill House & Gardens - Waterford Ireland
Sion Hill House & Gardens - Waterford Ireland
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Coming into Waterford city, the entrance is on the right opposite the Stat Oil garage just before Jurys Inn.

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