Thursday 18 July 2019

Lord it up for a day in the stately surroundings of Lismore Castle

Bill Browne

If you have ever fancied the idea of lording it up over sumptuous cream tea amid the salubrious surroundings of a stately castle then read on.

 For one day only the Lismore Castle near Fermoy will throw open its doors to the public on Sunday, March 31 for 'Devonshire Day', an annual tradition at the Castle for the past number of years. 

Situated a short distance from Fermoy, Lismore Castle has been the backdrop for thousands of amateur photographers over the years with it captivating, enchanted-like exterior. 

On Devonshire Day guests are invited to enjoy sample a Devon Cream Tea in the Pugin Room served by the Duke of Devonshire's butler, Denis Nevin. This will be followed by a tour of the Castle's award-winning, world renowned gardens. 

The Lower Garden, formerly know as the 'Pleasure Grounds', has seen extensive planting over recent years turning it into an anthophile heaven. It's surrounding walls date from the early 18th century and its boasts spectacular statues by a number of world renowned artists including Eilis O'Connell, Anthony Gormley and Marzia Colonna. 

One of the few Jacobean gardens to survive in anything like its original form, the Upper Garden boasts a high surrounding wall and raised terrace with turrets at either end. The Central Walk, situated between stunning herbaceous borders, is backed by yew hedges and was laid in alignment with the Pain spire of the nearby Anglican Cathedral.

Dating back to 1170, the Castle has been owned by the Duke of Devonshire's family since 1773 and over the years has played hosts to guests including a young JFK, Prince Charles and John Betjeman. 

Devonshire Day, a fundraiser in aid of the annual Lismore Immrama Festival of Travel Writing, is being held with the permission of Lord and Lady Burlington. 

Teas and tours will take place at 11.30am, 12.40pm, 1.50pm, 3pm and 4.10pm. 

Admission to the Castle will be by ticket only and these can be purchased from the Lismore Heritage Centre on 058 54975 priced at €25.  

On Devonshire Day people will also be invited to attend the screening of a 30-minute film in the Lismore Heritage centre on the history of Lismore Castle, the town and the surrounding hinterlands.