After what seemed like a very long winter here in Ireland, the sun has finally come out to greet us this last week. The temperatures have been soaring and the summer clothes have finally made it out of the back of the wardrobes. With a spring in our step we high tailed it to the beautiful picturesque spot of Johnstown Castle on a summer's day.
Our intention was to just go for an hour but you get sucked into all the nooks and crannys of the estate. The 19th century Castle was designed by Daniel Robertson, a British Architect who moved to Ireland. He also designed the gardens of Wells House which is also in Wexford. The ornamental gardens of Johnstown Castle are stunning from every angle, a natural playground for adults and children alike. The castle makes a stunning backdrop to the surrounding gardens (the castle however is closed to visitors).
The ownership has changed hands many times over the centuries, first owned by the Esmondes who were a Norman family who settled in Wexford in the 1170s. I think it was in 1945 that Maurice Victor Lakin presented Johnstown Castle estate as a gift to the Nation. Teagasc, the Agricultural and Food Development Authority, is the owner of the Johnstown Castle estate and has a research facility on site.
The grounds of Johnstown Castle also houses the Irish Agricultural Museum. There you will be able to learn all about Agricultural life from the 18th century to the middle of the 20th century and see everything from transport, tractors, history of the estate, history of the famine and much more.
If you forgot to pack your picnic don't worry you can pop into the Peacock Tea rooms where you will be greeted by the friendliest of staff. Of course I couldn't say no to a slice of biscuit cake when we popped in!
Lillibug had a great time and absolutely loved the Peacocks that we came across, especially the one above as she was fascinated with the way the train (tail) fanned up and had eyes! She got to feed them with birdseed that was available for €1 in the giftshop.
The estate, tea rooms and museum are all wheelchair and buggy friendly. It's a perfect day out for the whole family. Bring the bikes and football for the kids, even bring the dog along (must be kept on a lead).
A little bit of trivia: During World War I when German U-Boats were active off Wexford's coastline, Zeppelins were brought in to deal with the problem? The Zeppelins were based in Johnstown Castle during that time.
For more information on pricing and opening times to Johnstown Castle Museum & Gardens visit: