A visit to Woodville House Walled Garden will take you on a journey through the 18th century as it was once home to two prominent Galway families. The first family, the D’Arcy’s, were one of the “Tribes of Galway City”, resided at Woodville between 1750 and 1879. Robert Darcy was the most colorful character of the family, as he was the Land Agent for the first Marquis of Clanricarde, Ulick John de Burgh, of Portumna Castle for over 30 years including the Famine period 1828 – 1860.

Later Harry Persse took a lease out on the Woodville House and farm at the beginning of the last century. He was a brother to Lady Augusta Gregory, nee Persse of Coole Park, whose ancestral home Roxborough is just one Km away from Woodville. She was a playwritter and patron to W.B. Yeats and through her connections with Yeats and Edward Martyn, they formed the Irish Literature Movement and later established the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. She is known national as the Mother of Celtic Revival.

Unfortunately for Harry Persse the local Land League was quite strong in this region and thus Harry Persse was boycotted. He remained on at Woodville Estate till 1916 when the present family acquired the House and farm through the Irish Land Commission.

Woodville House is set at the foot of the Slieve Aughty Mountains in South East Galway. The Walled Garden at Woodville consists of 1.5 acres has been beautifully restored with colorful herbaceous borders, espaliered fruit trees, vegetable garden, rose garden  and serene water – fountain. Another feature of the garden is a surviving Dovecote which is one of the few remaining “Garden Follies” in the West of Ireland and is now home to a family of white fantail doves. The adjoining Stables of cut stone exhibits the history of Woodville and surrounding locality. The museum has on display, old photos of various members’ of the Persse family, including Adelaide Lane nee Persse, mother of Hugh Lane. Various books belonging to the family including one signed by Lady Augusta Gregory, dated 1898.  Numerous letters from family members dated from the beginning of the last century, old receipts, vintage farm machinery and other artifacts. All revealing an eye catching view of life in the West of Ireland at the turn of the last century.

The Garden is host to many events during the year, The Celebration of Snowdrops and Helleborous, Daffodil Day, Bluebell Woods, Bunny Easter Event, The Tulip firelight display, Woodland and Mushroom trails in County Galway. Midnight Bat Walks.

Woodville House Walled Garden is situated approx 2km from the village of Kilchreest, which is on the N66 route from Loughrea to Gort. We can offer afternoon tea and scones for groups on request. Free parking and toilet facilities on site. The walled gardens is situated in the centre of a working farm and will also give the visitor a glimpse into Irish farming life.

For further information on opening times please contact Margarita Donohue  at 087/9069191.


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