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Ballinlough Castle


Very special restored Edwardian garden in an 18th century demesne

Co Westmeath
website Contact Ballinlough Castle
Tel: +353 46 943 3234

Please mention when enquiring.

Ballinlough Castle

Opening Months: May, June, July, August, September
Opening Days: Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday
Opening Hours: 11am-6pm (Sun, 2-6pm)
Admission Charge:
  • Appointment Only
  • Admission Charge

Standing proudly on a hillside overlooking a lake, Ballinlough Castle looks for all the world like the illustration in a fairytale book and it has a story to match. Owned by the Catholic O’Reilly/Nugent family since it was first built in 16th century, it narrowly escaped demolition and the break up of the demesne two generations ago, before being rescued by Sir Hugh Nugent.

In the 1990s his son Sir John and daughter in law Pepe Nugent undertook an ambitious restoration programme of both the Edwardian walled garden and the earlier landscaped grounds, aided by the Great Gardens of Ireland Restoration Scheme.

The three acre walled garden is influenced by Gertrude Jekyll’s ideas on planting. In the main section there is a double herbaceous border of good old fashioned plants like campanula, astrantia and phlox, their colours shading from cool blues to hot reds with alchemilla, hardy geraniums and stachys frothing over the paths, a sunken garden area with a pool and traditional shrub borders around the walls. In the next section comes a magnolia walk, a rose garden of old fashioned roses, and flowering shrubs bordered in lavender. The fruit garden has been replanted with traditional apples, pears and plums, and more unusual medlars and mulberries.

The water garden, with its charming rustic bridge over an ornamental canal, the rockery and the lake - which was made, complete with a curious turf island, to give employment in Famine times - also restored. It is well worth a walk around the lake, past the primulas, astilbes and rodgersia of the water garden, to the wooded Badger Bank for the enchanting view across the reed fringed lake to Ballinlough Castle with its 18th century additions, a happy example of heritage saved.

Best time of year to visit: September

Groups & Tours

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

Tour Days:


Ballinlough Castle - County Westmeath
Ballinlough Castle - County Westmeath
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Signed from Clonmellon on the R52 from Kells

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