Only a twenty minute drive from South Dublin and forty-five minutes from the CBD is the Powerscourt Estate. I particularly wanted to visit here because it is the Count of Monte Cristo’s house, for those who are into their cinema. The whole time I was there I was babbling about the film and staging photo throwbacks. Mostly I couldn’t wait to email the photos to my parents and have them guess where it was!
It costs €8.50 per adult to enter the gardens. The house itself is unfurnished and the ground floor is dedicated to a cafe and Avoca shop, which I think is a bit of a shame. Then, a fire in 1974 did gut the place and it wasn’t attended to until 1996. Still, their cookies were massive so perhaps it’s OK to occupy the ground floor with a cafe.
If you want to visit Powerscourt waterfall there is a further charge and we didn’t bother going this time around. Also on the grounds are a pet cemetery, further gardens, and a tower which we also didn’t get to. I suppose we will just have to go back sometime. I mean, with 47 acres, we were never going to get around everything!
The first occupation of the land at Powerscourt was with a medieval castle in the fourteenth century. The house and Italian gardens standing today date to the eighteenth century. It was designed by the appropriately named German Richard Cassels for Richard Wingfield the 3rd Viscount Powerscourt (I love that there was a Count in Powerscourt, even if he were a Viscount). It took ten years to complete between 1731 and 1741.The gardens however, were commissioned by the 7th Viscount and were completed after a 20 year stint in 1880. Powerscourt is now owned by the Slazenger family.
The house has amazing views across the Wicklow landscape and across to the Sugar Loaf.
The theme at Powerscourt is quite clear. All of the statues are from mythology, two statues of Pegasus are strategically placed at the bottom of the steps. Dionysus is by the lake, Artemis up by the house, and many others.
The Japanese Gardens were our absolute favourite find. Amazing shades of green and completely peaceful. Gorgeous addition to the Italian promenade, providing some variation in the type of gardens you’re seeing. We spent a lot of time wandering around taking as many creative photos as possible. Capturing the magic.
I thoroughly recommend visiting Powerscourt. My opinion is that it is about ten times better than Blarney. The grounds are definitely nicer and the area it’s in is gorgeous! There is also a garden centre, Avoca store, Ritz Carlton and golf course on site – if your tastes turn to luxury shopping, dining or sporting. If you’re only touring the estate and gardens, stopping for a coffee at the end, I’d allow three hours. Take your time while you’re there. Plenty of places to stop and relax on a bench or the grass. You can fantasize about eighteenth and nineteenth century Paris, as in the film, the Tudor period (The Tudors also being filmed here), or imagine what it was like to really be a landlord in Ireland.