Duckett’s Grove, the 18th, 19th and early 20th century home of the Duckett family, was formerly at the centre of a 12,000 acre (4,856 hectares) estate that has dominated the Carlow landscape for over 300 years. Even in ruin, the surviving towers and turrets of Duckett’s Grove form a romantic profile making it one of the most photogenic historic buildings in the country.
The first phase of the revival of two old walled gardens has now been completed by Carlow County Council, the old paths revealed and the beds and borders reinstated. Stylistically the new planting schemes echo the past yet reflect changing fashions, utilising plants and planting patterns that may have evolved over time.
The Upper Walled Garden, hedged with boxwood, is planted with historical varieties of shrub roses, a collection of Chinese and Japanese peonies, a great variety of hardy and tender perennials and choice flowering shrubs.
The Lower Walled Garden, once the site of the old orchard, contains a selection of fruits, including figs and historical varieties of Irish apples amongst others. The borders also contain a variety of shrubs and perennials all echoing the past history of the gardens and people associated with Duckett’s Grove. Restored paths and the repaired sunken stone bridge plus plantings of oak, lime, hazel, spindle and laurel rekindle the spirit of the Georgian pleasure grounds.
FACILITIES: Large car and coach park, toilets, wheelchair access. Tea rooms.
HOW TO FIND US: From Castledermot take the R418 towards Tullow for 6km and turn right at the signed junction. From Carlow take the R726 Hacketstown Road for 10 km to Killerig Cross Roads. Turn left at this junction onto the R418 for 2.5 km, turn left again at the signed junction.
OPENING TIMES: April to October: daily from 10a.m. to 5.30 p.m., Rest of year daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
ADMISSION CHARGES: Free admission